Five Borno Ministries Fail To Account For N414m

by sima88

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The Borno State Auditor General has claimed that five ministries have failed to account for N414 million during the auditing of their accounts and expenditures.

In a 2020 report released by the state’s auditor general, Shettima Bukar said the five ministries indicted are Home Affairs/Information and Culture; Housing and Energy; Religious Affairs and Special Education; Agriculture and Natural Resources and Housing and Energy.

In the report obtained by PremiumTimes, Bukar said the ministries failed to support their expenditures with relevant documents during the auditing of their financial statement in the period under review.

The report said the five ministries were unable to retire N357,720, N1,120,000, N350,972,703 and N40,000,000 respectively, totalling N414.6m.

He added that the five ministries did not respond to many of the 29 queries issued to them for lack of supporting documents for expenditures.

Bukar said nine of the queries were issued to the ministries of Home Affairs, Information/Culture and Housing/Energy which spent a total of N22,155,800.

He said the ministries were queried for failing to attach official receipts, receipts for materials, approvals, for not signing payment vouchers and the absence of the stamp of the internal auditor as required by the state’s procurement regulation.

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He added that five of the nine queries were issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Culture to account for N21,650,000 while four queries were issued to the Ministry of Housing and Energy for not providing supporting documents for expenditure worth N505,800.

Bukar noted that during the writing of the Annual Report for the year 2019, there were unprocessed queries which were not included in the 2019 Report, which should have been used for the 2020 Auditor-General’s Annual Report.

“Similarly, during the writing of the Annual Report for the year 2019, there were unprocessed queries which were not included in the 2019 Report, which are material for inclusion in this year’s 2020 Auditor-General’s Annual Report.

“These are twenty (20) queries involving a total sum of three hundred and ninety-two million four hundred and fifty thousand four hundred and twenty-three naira and twenty-nine kobo (N392,450,423.29) only, which were issued in respect of four (4) Ministries. And these queries were also not responded to up to the time of writing this report,” Mr Shettima, he said.

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The auditor-general attributed the anomalies to the inadequacies in the control system of most of the MDAs which left many payment vouchers lacking the necessary documentary evidence to justify the payments made.

Bukar also highlighted the lapses in the submission of some important financial, budgetary, and administrative documents, adding that the the issues still persists withkiut being addressed.

In his recommendations, Bukar recommends the proper implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) which gives a greater disclosure of information, leading to transparency, integrity, accountability and comparability.

He added that  IPAS implementation will reduce the challenges or shortcomings of submission of copies of contract agreements, approvals for employment and council conclusions on government programmes.

In a chat with Premium Times, Isa Gusau, the spokesperson for Governor Babagana Zulum, said the state government is trying its best to ensure proper accounting.

Gusau said the governor is taking the report seriously and has since directed relevant officials to ensure the provision of support documents on those expenditures.

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He said, “The Borno State Government is large and has numerous government establishments, so much that no matter how Governor Zulum tries to ensure proper accounting, there could be some circumventing by some.

“No official in Borno State can have the audacity to try diverting funds under Zulum as governor.”

“Governor Zulum has since directed relevant officials to ensure the provision of support documents on those expenditures,” insisting that “it is not possible for N400 million to be expended under Zulum, without evidence of project, programme or any other government activity.”

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