According to reports reaching Oyogist.com, the Nigerian Senate has refused to grant external auditors from the Office of the Auditor General access to investigate the N1.3billion fund claimed to have been spent on capital items supplied to the National Assembly.
Some of the Assembly members told the auditors when they came for review that some sections of the stores were currently under renovation, thus the auditors could not gain entry to verify the capital items said to have been bought.
According to report, the Clerk of the National Assembly must account for the total sum of N1,364,816,397.95 and the details extended to the AuGF office for confirmation.
The AuGF report said; “During the audit of the accounts and other related records maintained by the Senate, it was observed that; issue one – Verification of capital items supplied and executed for the National Assembly totalling N1,364,816,397.95 proved unsuccessful as auditors were denied access to the store and its records.
“The Risk – This charge implies that public funds may be diverted for unappropriated purposes and the value for money not ascertained from these expenditures. The recommendation is that the management response to the store being under renovation at the time of audit is not acceptable; hence, I cannot accept this expenditure as a valid charge against public funds.
“The Clerk of the National Assembly is required to account for the total sum of N1,364,816,397.95. Details should be forwarded to my office for confirmation.”
The issue of payment vouchers were also raised in the report concerning the National Assembly totalling N673million which were not made available to the auditors.
“Issue 2; Payment vouchers amounting to N235,748,563.14 for the period April to June 2017; and N437,332,679 for the period July to October 2017 were not produced for audit.
The risk is that it is difficult to certify such payment as legitimate charges on public funds; as the total sum of N673,081,242 may have been misappropriated.
“The recommendation is that the sum of N673,081,242.14 should be recovered by the Clerk of the National Assembly and paid back to the Treasury; evidence of recovery should be forward to my office,” it added.