Dr. Michael Akabogu, the managing director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, revealed to senators during a Senate Public Account Committee hearing that termites destroyed N17 billion worth of vouchers that were kept in a container in their office.
The illicit transfer of N17 billion from First Bank and Skye Bank to individual accounts and businesses is being looked into by the Senate Committee on Public Account.
The lawmakers were compelled by this development to invite both the NSITF’s current and former administration.
The 2018 Auditor General of the Federation’s report was the committee’s basis for the probe.
The N17 billion was allegedly moved unlawfully between 2010 and 2016 while Mallam Umar Munir Abubakar was in charge.
However, when the Committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, requested the current Managing Director to look for receipts for the N17 billion at the office so that the Committee could understand what the money was spent for, he responded that there were no such records in their possession.
Akabogu said: “The container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been weather beaten over the years, but even possibly being eaten up by termites.
“As directed by this committee, I told the past management officers on the need for them to help us out in answering this query with necessary documents, which have not been made available to us.”
Concerned by the presentations of the former and current NSITF officials, the committee, through its chairman, came down hard on them by asking them to reappear before it on September 22, 2022, with all the necessary supporting documents.
Urhoghide said: “This committee has given you people more than enough time to respond to queries slammed on NSITF in the 2018 Audit report by the office of Auditor General of the Federation.
“The queries are 50 in number ranging from one misappropriation to the other in billions of Naira.
“The one on N17.158 billion multiple transfers carried out in 2013 has not been answered at all, not to talk of N5.5 billion allegedly diverted into a commercial bank account without approval, N2.2 billion unauthorised investment without adequate records, etc.
Read: I’m receiving death threats – EFCC Chairman alleges
“These are completely unacceptable and the committee will make sure that these queries are sustained if required evidential documents on monies spent or misappropriated are not provided.”
The managing director of NSITF from 2010 to 2016 previously claimed in his responses that he was not aware of the inquiry and had no explanations for it because the audit was not conducted during his time.
Adebayo Somefun, who took over as agency director from May 2017 to July 2020, asserted that employees in the account division should be able to locate the papers. The current general manager of finance claimed that the documents were locked up in an abandoned container on the Trust Fund’s Abuja property.
The query reads: “Management of NSITF as shown in statements of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye Bank plc, for the period 1st January, 2013 to 20th December, 2013, and statements of account No.2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period 7th January, 2013 to 28th February, 2013, transferred amounts totalling N17,158,883,034.69billion 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. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.
“These are in violation of Financial rule 601 which states that ‘All payment entries in the cashbook/accounts shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms. Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due.’
“Under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised, or cash paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised.”
Check Also: Nigeria’s hopeless fight against corruption
Leave a Reply