Fg Orders Audit Of Military Payroll Over Alleged Diversion Of Funds
SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, (THEWILL) – Following revelations emanating from the prosecution of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the sum of N558.2m was allegedly diverted monthly from the Nigeria Air Force account into private pockets, the Federal Government said on Thursday that it has ordered an audit of the payroll of the Army, Navy and Air force.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, issued this directive in Abuja, according to a statement by the Director of press in the ministry, Salisu Dambatta, adding that the probe would be carried out by the Continuous Audit Team of the Federal Government to be headed by the Director of Special Projects in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mohammed Dikwa. The team is expected to report its findings for appropriate action by the Federal Government.
The Continuous Audit team, the statement revealed, has been charged with the responsibility of scrutinising the payrolls of the three services, which have not yet been put on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System to ensure that all possible loopholes that could lead to leakages were blocked.
The statement reads, “Following revelations in the course of the trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the sum of N558.2m was allegedly diverted monthly from the Nigeria Air Force account into private pockets, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has directed an investigation into the payrolls of the Air Force, the Navy and the Army by the Continuous Audit Team of the Federal Government.
“The exercise will be conducted pending the biometric capturing and migrating the payroll of the three services to the IPPIS, in line with the policy of the Federal Government to clean up the payroll of all public sector employees.”
The Finance minister explained that the measure had become necessary as part of the resolve of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to restore the culture of transparency, accountability and control in the management of public funds.
“The Continuous Audit Process was one of the initiatives of the Minister approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the on-going reforms in the public finance management system of the federal government, which he emphasised in his 2016 budget speech,” the statement disclosed.