House of Reps

Reps summon auditor general over $36.1m World Bank loan

The acting Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Aghughu Adolphus, has been summoned by the House of Representatives over a $36.1m facility under the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project of the World Bank, to the office.

The summon was issued by the House Committee on Public Accounts at its public hearing in Abuja on Tuesday. This was after Adolphus, who had earlier been invited by the committee, had failed to show up on Tuesday.

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His representatives, led by a Deputy Director, Mr Babalola Olanrewaju, could not explain to the lawmakers the rationale behind taking the loan.

Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, said, “We want to know what the loan was meant for before going to sign for it. What was your procurement plan before arriving at that figure? Or is it a reward? We need to know the programme plan, how you want to utilise the loan.

“The acting Auditor-General of the Federation, we are aware of his journey but there is no need to hurry about it. Let him cause appearance before the committee next week Tuesday, to come and explain the rationale behind the loan and to provide other vital information about it.

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“Let him come and brief us properly. It is a loan that will be paid back and in the next 10 years now, you will leave the service of the Federation; your children and our children will be the ones that will be repaying the loans to our creditors. That is why the man himself has to come and explain to the parliament personally.”

Thereafter, Oke directed the clerk to the committee to write the acting auditor-general to that effect.

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Meanwhile, some Vice-Chancellors of various federal universities, on Tuesday, appeared before the committee and blamed their inability to render their 2018-2019 audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The universities that appeared before the committee included Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State; Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State; Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State; and Modibbo Adams University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State.

The committee is currently investigating the audit queries raised against the MDAs of the Federal Government by the OAUGF.

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During their appearances, the universities said the pandemic delayed the processes while in some cases; some of their governing boards could not meet to approve the available reports.

They therefore requested for more time to prepare their records with their external auditors for the rendition.

The committee granted the request, and summoned the External Auditor of the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, over some irregularities noticed in the 2018 audited account of the institution.

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