Senate probes budget office DG’s alleged payment of N19bn to four MDAs without minister’s approval

 Senate probes budget office DG’s alleged payment of N19bn to four MDAs without minister’s approval

By Joseph Ayinde

The Senate has begun an investigation into the Budget Office Director-General’s alleged illegal payment of N19 billion to four agencies of government without the approval of the supervising Minister of Finance.

This is just as the Budget Office, however, failed to appear on Tuesday before the Senate Public Accounts Committee probing the reported payment of N19 billion to four agencies through a verbal directive by the Director-General of Budget Office in 2015.

The Senate Panel hinged its Investigation of the budget office on the 2016 Auditor General’s Report which is currently being considered by the Committee headed by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

The budget Office was listed as number one on the list of the agencies expected to respond to the Auditor General’s query but failed to appear before the legislators.

The AuGF in the 2016 report had posited, that ” Four MDAs were paid the sum of N19 billion from the service-wide vote without the approval of the Minister of Finance

“Some of the payments were made on a purported verbal directive from the Director-General.

“This Act is against Financial Regulations 301 and 302 which state that ” recurrent expenditure is paid from CRF and no expenditure may be incurred except on the authority of a warrant issued by the Minister of Finance.

“The Director-General should provide evidence of approval from the Ministry of Finance for these expenditures or recover the sum of N19 billion from benefiting MDAs.”

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In its written response to the Auditor General of the Federation’s Query, the Budget Office said, “the details of MDAs under the reference have not been provided to enable us to respond appropriately.”

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