N4.97tn Unaccounted For By MDAs In 2019, Says Auditor-General

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MINISTRIES, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government failed to account for a total sum of N4.97tn in 2019, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, has disclosed.

According to Aghughu, the MDAs failed to account for the sum after an audit of their financial statements.

The Auditor-General made the disclosure while presenting the 2019 audit report to the National Assembly in Abuja.

He stated that his office lacked the capacity to function effectively and efficiently especially relating to detection of mismanagement of public funds by the MDAs.

He said, “From the audit carried out on the 2019 Federal Government Consolidated Financial Statement, unsubstantiated balances amounting to N4.97tn were observed. The N4.97tn unsubstantiated balances are above the materiality level of N89.34bn set for the audit.

“In auditing, materiality means not just a quantified amount but also the effect that amount will have in various contexts. During the auditing planning process, the auditor decides what the level of materiality will be, taking into account the entirety of the financial statements to be audited.”

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Aghughu also lamented that his office was not working the way it should due to various factors ruining its operations, thereby giving room for all forms of financial infractions across the various MDAs.

He said, “One of such problems is the absence of Federal Audit Service Law, which is a big challenge as far as effective and efficient public sector auditing are concerned. This is a law that is needed as basis of fiscal sustainability.

“Another problem incapacitating optimal functionality of our mandate, as far as thorough and appropriate auditing of financial statements of the MDAs are concerned, is gross underfunding which is telling much on our efficiency. Accommodation is also part of the problem as our staff in Lagos are about to be evicted from their office due to litigations. These are aside problem of insecurity seriously affecting our scope of coverage.”

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The report was received by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos Ojo, who was represented by the Deputy Clerk, Bala Yabani.

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