The Senate has initiated an investigation into the accountant-general of the federation (AGF) for spending N74 billion on social benefits in 2016 without providing a comprehensive breakdown.
In his 2016 report, the auditor-general of the federation expressed concern over the payment of N262.4bn in social benefits compared to the N188bn budgeted, resulting in an extra-budgetary payment of N74bn without a breakdown.
The query read in part: “The total cost for social benefits was N262.3 billion while the budgeted amount for the period was N188 billion, resulting in N74 billion in extra-budgetary expenditures.”
“Additionally, it was noted that there was no summary of the total N262 billion cost of social benefits disbursed to the various individuals who were eligible for gratuity, pension, and death benefits, which comprise social benefits.”
The Accountant General acknowledged the Auditor General’s observation when his representative appeared before the Senate Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, to respond to the question.
The committee observed that the Comptroller General was unable to answer the question.
In accordance with financial regulations, the committee recommended to the Senate that the Account General refund N74 billion.
The Senate approved the committee’s recommendation to refund N74 billion to the federation account.