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Reps Interrogate NSITF Over N17bn Transfer, Others

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The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, on Tuesday, interrogated the Managing Director of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Michael Akabogu, over the transfer of N17,158,883,034.69 to people and companies without payment vouchers and other supporting documents that was provided for audit.

The office of the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation in an audit query that was issued against the NSITF said the transactions were carried out in 2013.

The query was said to be in the 2018 AUGF’s report which listed 50 queries against the NSITF.

According to the report, vouchers shall be made out in favour of the persons or person that the money is actually due and under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised or cash be paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised.

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The report stated that “Audit observed from the fund’s Statement of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye bank, for the period 1st January, 2013 to 20th December, 2013, and Statements of Account No. 2001754610 with First Bank for the period 7th January, 2013 to 28th February, 2013, that amounts totaling N17,158,883,039.69 were transferred to some persons and companies from these accounts.

“However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit.”

The report added that “Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be aunthenticated.”

The auditor-general said where funds were transferred without proper records, there may be the possibility of diversion of those funds for personal use.

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The report suggested a recommendation that Akabogu is required to account, recover and pay back the N17,158,883,034.69 Consolidated Revenue Fund.

There were other queries against the fund in the 2018 report which includes an alleged diversion of N5.5bn to a commercial bank and was not approved by the accountant-general and the irregular payment of unapproved allowances to the time of about N1.87bn.

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