The Accountant of the Federation is being investigated by the Senate for handing out N74 billion in social benefits without providing a detailed breakdown in the 2016 budget.
In the 2016 report, the Auditor General of the Federation expressed concern about the extra-budgetary payment of N74 billion without a breakdown due to the payment of N262.4 billion in social benefits vs the N188 billion allocated in the budget.
“The total cost for social benefits amounted to N262.3 billion, whereas the budget amount for the period was N188 billion, as contained in the budget report, resulting in the extra-budgetary expenditure of N74 billion,” the question read in part.
“In addition, it was noted that the total social benefits cost of N262 billion that was distributed to the various individuals was not broken down,” When the representative of the Account General appeared before the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide to respond to the query, the Accountant General accepted the observation of the Auditor General.
The committee observed that the Accountant General could not address the query. The committee, therefore, recommended to the Senate that the Account General should refund N74bn in line with financial regulation. The Senate adopted the recommendation of the committee for the refund of N74bn into the federation account.