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October 25, 2020

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N9.7 billion disbursed for 32 projects unaccounted for

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About N9.7 billion released for the implementation of 32 projects in 17 states in Nigeria is yet to be accounted for, data from the 2017 Audit report has shown.

The 2017 report is the latest by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, (OAGF).

According to the report, N17 billion was disbursed for the implementation of 32 projects in 17 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

However, N9.7b of the funds is unaccounted for.

Analysing the report in its latest “Value for Money” Handbook – Issue 2”, the Executive Director of Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI), Olusegun Elemo, said that the projects which were awarded to various contractors are unexecuted.

He said the unaccounted funds show an increase of N6.8 billion when compared to similar publication of the 2016 Audit Report.

He noted that this is an indication that the level of accountability in the country was worsening.

“The unaccounted funds when compared to similar publication on the 2016 Audit Report showed an increase of N6.8bn (70.1 per cent), an indication that accountability in the utilisation of public funds in Nigeria is getting worse,” he said.

PLSI is a civic organisation fostering public accountability in Nigeria.

Accountability

Mr Elemo reiterated that the country must commit to ensure public funds are properly accounted for.

He said the lack of efficient accountability is the foundation of all problems in the country.

“What justification do we have to continue to spend without adequate audit mechanism? How do we use a 1956 Audit Act to evaluate a 2020 budget? It is completely unreasonable and that is where the problem is. The lack of accountability,” he said.

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He advocates for the empowerment of the OAGF to play a more effective role in ensuring that public funds begin to work for citizens.

Mr Elemo also called for efforts to ensure that the OAGF is not subject to the control of any authority as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

He said the civic organization will continue to work closely with relevant agencies to ensure accountability in all areas.

“We will like to restate our commitment and dedication in working closely with all relevant institutions and agencies of government to ensure that all public funds are adequately accounted for to improve service delivery to citizens,” he said.



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