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Nigeria loses $274.2m on external loans – Senate report reveals

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The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has been accused of making Nigeria to lose a difference of $274.2million (N54.1billion) on external loans by the federal government.

The accusation was contained in the report of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, which was approved by the Red Chamber before proceeding to annual recess.

The senate, in its resolution, asked the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris to identify the officers responsible and sanctioned them for mismanagement of public funds in accordance with Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations and for gross misconduct.

The Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations reads: “An accounting officer who is queried for his failure to manage or spend public funds, effectively or who spends public money without due regard to economy contrary to FR 415 and fails to reply to the query shall be removed from the schedule and be disciplined in accordance with the public service rules.”

The query to Accountant General of Federation from Auditor General for the Federation titled: “Inconsistent Exchange Loss Difference on External Loans”, reads: “During the examination of Note 51 and Appendix to Note 52, it was observed that there was a total exchange loss difference of $278.2 million (N54.1billion) reported by the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation in the document provided but this could not be found in the DMO document.

“Also, the criteria for arriving at the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1billion) was not disclosed.

“The Accountant General of the Federation in his response maintained that the closing balance is as provided by DMO while the exchange difference of $274.2 million (N54.1billion) was as a result of multiple currencies that were involved and single exchange rate.

“The Account-General of the Federation is required to provide the source(s) of the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1 billion) with documentary evidence.

“Provide the calculations showing how these figures were arrived at and the reasons for the exchange loss for each of the figures should be explained.

“Disclose the source of exchange difference in a note.”

The Senate, therefore, in its resolution after the presentation by Senator Urhoghide upheld the recommendations of the committee for officials involved to be sanctioned.



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