Finance

Sanction officers involved in $274.2m external loan losses, Senate tells AGoF

The Senate has asked the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, to identify and sanction his officers who were allegedly responsible for the $274.2m (N54.1bn) which Nigeria lost on external loans transaction.

The red chamber took the decision while considering the report of the Senate Public Accounts Committee presented by the panel’s chairman, Senator Mathew Urhoghide.

The query was contained in the 2015 Auditor General for the Federation report on the financial statement of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Federation Account.

The Senate specifically asked Idris to identify the officers responsible and sanctioned them for allegedly mismanaging of public fund in accordance with Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations and for gross misconduct.

The Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations reads, “An accounting officer who is queried for his failure to manage or spend public funds effectively or who spends public money without due regard to economy contrary to FR 415 and fails to reply to the query, shall be removed from the schedule and be disciplined in accordance with the Public Service Rules.”

The AuGF query to the Accountant General of Federation was titled ‘Inconsistent exchange loss difference on external loans’.

It reads, “During the examination of Note 51 and Appendix to Note 52, it was observed that there was a total exchange loss difference of $278.2m (N54.1bn) reported by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in the document provided but this could not be found in the Debt Management Office document.

“Also, the criteria for arriving at the exchange loss difference of $274.2m was not disclosed.

“The Accountant General of the Federation in his response maintained that the closing balance is as provided by DMO while the exchange difference of $274.2m (N54.1bn) was as a result of multiple currencies that were involved and single exchange rate.

“The Accountant-General of the Federation is by this, required to provide the source (s) of the exchange loss difference of $274.2m (N54.1bn) with documentary evidence.

“The AGoF should provide the calculations showing how these figures were arrived at and the reasons for the exchange loss for each of the figures should be explained.

“He should disclose the source of exchange difference in a note.”

The Senate in its resolution upheld the recommendation of the SPAC by insisting that officials involved must be sanctioned.

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