H.O.S Office Can't Account For N35bn Service Wide Vote
As Reps order CBN to pay N1.
015bn to govt coffers BEVERLY HILLS, March 13, (THEWILL) - The House Representatives Committee on Public Accounts Thursday declared that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation has failed to account for over N35 billion from the Service Wide Vote received from the Budget Office over a period of nine years.
The Committee has therefore given a two-week ultimatum to the Permanent Secretary of the H.
S office, ,Mr Remi Adelakun to re-appear before it with the relevant documents on the missing of the over N35billion.
Chairman of the committee, Hon.
Adeola Solomon Olamilekan, made these pronouncements at Thursday's investigative session.
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary,Adelakun, has confirmed that the OHSF received only N17.
6 billion from the Service Wide Vote between 2004 and 2012 but, the Budget Office insisted that over N52billion was released to the office.
According to the Budget Office, in 2004, the OHSF received N2.
7 billion, N9.
8 million in 2005, N701.
7 million in 2006, N896.
3m in 2007, N5.
3b in 2008, N612.
9m plus another N70m in 2009, N17.
6b in 2010 while other releases were N13.
6b in 2011 and N8.
5b in 2012.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon.
Solomon Adeola-Olamilekan saId the OHSF documents only referred to the N17.
6b it received in the year 2010,sayin based on the figures given by the Budget Office, there was a disparity of almost N35 billion and requested for the documents for the rest of the years in question.
In a related development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been ordered to refund N1,015b to the Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) for a contract for the supply of 65 million ballot papers for the 2007 Presidential election.
The order followed a discovery by the committee that the Federal Government paid twice in the transaction.
The Public Account Committee had invited the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof.
Atahiru Jega, the Permanent Secretary of State House, Emmanuel Ogbila as well as the Acting Governor of CBN, Sarah Alade to give accounts of the transaction.
Dipo Fatokun, Director, Corporate Services, who represented the CBN, in his submission said there was no double payment for the transaction.
"There was no double payment for the transaction.
When we first appeared before the Committee, we did not check our records very well and that was why we thought there were double payment.
"But now, we have checked our records very we'll and discovered that there were no double payment.
Our records showed that there was no payment made for the memo from the State House because the was matter was marked 'Keep in View (KIV).
' The Committee doubted the submission of the CBN representative.
According to the Committee, the State House statement of account generated from CBN showed that cheques for the transaction an debit entries were contradictory.
Two cheques for N262m and N763m could not be found in the statement while two debit figure of N10.
5m and N1.
4b in respect of the transaction were suspicious.
The Committee also expressed doubt over the legitimacy of the transaction as the money remitted to South Africa for the supply was less than what was approved.
INEC Chairman was also requested to confirm the receipt of the 65 million ballot papers but Jega pleaded for time to check the Commission's records, saying it was not there at the time.
Explaining why money remitted to South Africa was less N10m, Fatokun said it was a service commission and that commercial money deposit banks would have charged more.
"Who authorised the CBN to reduce the contract sum? The money approved was N1.
015b but CBN remitted less, this brings us to doubt if the transaction was actually consummated? "In view of this development, the CBN is ordered to remit to the Consolidated Revenue Account, the sum of N1.
015b within one week," the chairman of the Committee said.
SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA