The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has urged the Senate Committee of Public Accounts to probe the missing N28billion remitted by the Nigeria Customs Service In 2015.
The anti-corruption agency however expressed shock over the inability of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris to account for the money.
In a statement issued by the Coordinator For Research and Documentation, Mr Okechukwu Ndiribe, on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Mr Debo Adeniran, urged the Senator Mathew Uroghide led committee to ensure that the money is recovered.
The CACOL boss wondered how the Nigeria Customs Service could have used its automated mechanism to remit the huge sum of N185b to the Federation Account whereas only N157b was reflected in the records of the Accountant General of the Federation.
According to the CACOL boss: “ There is something fishy when a representative of the same Accountant General who could not present a correct account of the funds remitted into the Federation Account by the NCS had to change his statement to indicate that the N28b difference was used as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Stabilisation Fund.
“It is also unacceptable that the Accountant General of the Federation had no documentary evidence to support his questionable claim which could be considered as an afterthought .”
The CACOL boss urged the Senator Matthew Uroghide-led Senate Public Accounts Committee to extend its investigations on the unaccounted N28b to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance in order get to the root of this suspicious development.
The CACOL boss further expressed worry that despite the present Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade, the accounts of 109 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal administration had not yet been audited for the past seven years adding that the accounts of 76 of these MDAs had not been audited for the past 10 years. In the year 2017, 160 federal institutions failed to submit their accounts for audit .
Mr Adeniran also hailed the Senate for its effort to enact a new law that would jail any federal official who fails to comply with audit requirements for at least five years.
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give adequate support to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation by increasing its budgetary allocation as this would be in tandem with the present administration’s anti-corruption campaign.