The Federal Government’s annual Audit Report has stated that the National Examinations Council made payments for examination materials in 2017 totalling N7.2bn billion without evidence of supply of those materials.
The FG audit report from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, titled, ‘Auditor-General’s Report on the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria 2017’and obtained by our correspondent, said the council paid the sum of “N7,249,458,443.82 between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store.”
The audit report, therefore, asked the NECO Registrar, during the year under review, to justify the payment of the sum, adding that payment for supplies “which were not supplied may result in possible misapplication and loss of funds.”
The report partly reads, “Examination materials in the sum of N7,249,458,443.82 were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store. There was no evidence to confirm the receipt of the materials or their usage, thereby contravening Financial Regulation 2402 which requires the storekeeper to certify that stores purchased have been received and taken on store ledger charge in the store ledger.
An inquiry to verify the true position of the items revealed that a committee was in charge of the receipt and distribution of the examination materials. However, despite repeated requests for documentary evidence in relation to the supply, the committee failed to produce any document for verification.
“The risk is that payment for supplies which were not supplied may result in possible misapplication and loss of funds. Evaluation of the response revealed that the issue was not addressed. The recommendation is that the Registrar is required to justify the payment of the sum of N7,249,458,443.82 for examination materials.
“Also, payments in the sum of N298,350,232 were made to staff without payment analysis, job specification and schedule, and locations of the assignments. It was observed that the payments were not classified as cash advances, and all effort to establish the purpose of the payment proved abortive as the commission did not provide such information.”
When contacted to react to the FG report, the NECO Public Relations Officer, Mr Azeez Sanni, said a letter of the request should be sent to the Registrar on the issues.
He said, “I have not seen the report. It is beyond my brief. What I advise you do is to send a letter requesting any explanation you need from the registrar. The Accounts Department is in the best position to give clarifications to that, and you rout it through the registrar.”