256 MDAs violated regulations, spent over N284bn without approval – OAuGF

The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation has indicted about 256 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government for violating extant laws and spending billions of naira that were not appropriated in 2020.

The MDAs, including the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Airforce Institute of Technology among others reportedly engaged in extra-budgetary expenditure amounting to N284bn in 2020.

This revelation was made in the latest 2020 Audited Report of government finances submitted to the National Assembly by the OAuGF.

The document which was two years later than allowed by the constitution revealed unbudgeted expenditure and unremitted revenue to government coffers in the 2020 financial year.

Going by the law, the 2020 Auditor-General’s report should have been submitted to the National Assembly in 2021. It was submitted through a letter referenced AuGF/AR.2020/01 dated November 30, 2023.

Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that “No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by this Costitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of section 81 of this Constitution”.

Also, Section 80(3) states that “No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly”.

The report stated that the total of N361bn was spent by the affected MDAs against the N76bn in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

The OAuGF added that the MDAs did not disclosed the sources of the extra spending and did not provide the evidence of supplementary appropriation or approved virement provided.

The report accused the accounting officers of the affected MDAs of failing to ensure that proper budgetary and accounting systems are established and maintained to enhance internal control, accountability and transparency.

According to the document, 18 MDAs incurred an overhead expenditure of N129bn which were not supported by budgetary provision as required by the constitution but the accountant-general, in a management response contained in the report said the MDAs involved are “mostly those that had waivers to spend a percentage of their revenue to sustain themselves”.

The report said that 34 MDAs reported zero overhead expenditure despite having a total budget of N6.9bn noting that “no additional information was disclosed to enable users understand how the MDAs operated without overhead costs”.

The AuGF report revealed that N7bn was budgeted for Employees Benefit but a total of N335bn was spent.

It also said that the sum of N14bn was spent on subsidies without budgetary provisions.

The report said that 72 MDAs exceeded their Employee benefits budget by N328bn saying “the total expenditures of the 72 MDAs were N335bn while the total budget was N87bn.”

The auditor-general also reported that 106 MDAs exceeded their personnel costs budget by N78bn noting that “the total expenditures of the 106 MDA was N882bn while the total budget was N804bn

“No information was disclosed thereon in respect to the authorisation of the expenditure by way of either supplementary appropriation or virement upon which the personnel budget was exceeded,” the report stated.

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