Senate Uncovers How MDAs Squandered N3.8trn Under Buhari

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How MDAs Squandered N3.8trn Under Buhari


The Senate has revealed how federal government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) misappropriated the N3.8 trillion they received from Service Wide Votes (SWV) over four years.


Matthew Urhoghide, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, stated that the committee’s investigation revealed that hundreds of billions of naira were disbursed to federal agencies for salary shortfalls, despite the fact that such funds were already included in the agencies’ annual budgets.



The Service Wide Vote is an extrabudgetary provision for MDAs to meet dire needs or special emergencies for which there are no or insufficient funds in the Appropriations Act.


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Before any government agency could access these funds, the law that established the Service Wide Vote stipulated that a formal request must be submitted to and approved by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



When former was in office, the Senate Public Accounts Committee investigated the disbursement of N5 trillion from the SWV to more than 200 government agencies between 2017 and 2021.

The committee, presided over by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, invited 207 government agencies to participate in the investigation, but only 119 responded.


During Wednesday’s plenary session, the panel presented its report to the Senate and its recommendations were adopted.


Urhoghide, in presenting the report, stated that his committee’s investigation revealed that numerous agencies collected funds from SWV without consulting the National Assembly committees that are required by law to oversee the agencies.


He stated that some MDAs did not submit formal requests for the funds sent to them by the Accountant-General’s Office of the Federation.


He stated that where the President’s approval was sought and obtained, some MDAs utilised the funds for unrelated expenditures.



Senator said that some MDAs collected funds for projects that had already been budgeted for in Appropriations Acts.


He stated, “Hundreds of billions of Naira were said to have been used to cover salary shortfalls, despite the fact that these agencies had already received appropriations for personnel compensation and were on the IPPIS platform.


“In some instances, agencies received large sums of money for which they did not apply or for which they are unaware of the source and purpose.



“The IPPIS intervention to make up for insufficiencies or shortfalls in Personnel Costs has been abused and has ballooned into astronomical sums of money requiring legislative oversight.


“The majority of MDAs involved in the period under review avoided the Committee’s invitation to appear and refused to make submissions, possibly due to a lack of satisfactory explanations regarding the use of the funds made available to them.”



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After adopting the committee’s recommendations, the senate urged the Executive to use a supplemental budget approach to meet emergencies rather than a Service Wide Vote, which it deemed an affront/eroding of the National Assembly’s approval powers.

The committee also recommended that the Accountant General and other MDAs grant the Auditor-General for the Federation full access to audit Service Wide Vote expenditures annually and report to the National Assembly.



It also demanded an in-depth investigation into the operations of IPPIS in order to address the growing number of systemic irregularities.


Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Ministry of Police Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Petroleum, and Ministry of Aviation are among the affected agencies.

Others include the State House, Budget Office, Presidential Fleet, Nigerian Army, Navy, and Airforce, NAFDAC, Civil Defence, Presidential Amnesty Programme, FERMA, NEMA, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Debt Management Office, INEC, North East Development Commission (NEDC), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), and National Examination Council (NECO).



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