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Non-audit of 801 MDAs since 2017 shocks reps

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The House of Representatives has expressed grave concern over the inability of the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to carry out the audit of 801 federal agencies and parastatals as well as foreign missions across the world, since 2017.

The lawmakers expressed the concern during the investigative hearing held at the instance of the Wole Oke-led House Committee on Public Accounts.

It thus resolved to summon the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; Accountant General of the Federation; Ahmed Idris; Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan; and Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission.

The lawmakers also expressed displeasure over the non-provision of required funds for the recruitment of 611 new personnel needed to bridge the manpower shortfall in the office of the Auditor General of the Federation despite obtaining waiver from the Head of Service of the Federation since 2017.

Oke said, “A very critical professional body is being under-funded. Even in fund allocation for the budget, the Director General of the Budget Office has deliberately underfunded the Office of the Auditor General so that he won’t be able to discharge its duties and uncover all the illegal criminal activities and looting going on in the country.

“On what basis would you be funding agencies that have no value to the economy at the detriment of the Auditor General’s office?

“From the presentation of the Auditor General, it is understaffed; he needs over 600 workers.

“It will interest you that the entire Zamfara State has just on staff. One staff in Zamfara State. How do we run a country like this?

“Even in the 2020 budget, the Auditor General is struggling. Its funds are yet to be released to him 100 per cent.

“There are critical activities of the office of the Auditor General aside from financial auditing. We have programmes’ auditing; we have project auditing; value for money, but the Auditor General is unable to do all these. It’s underfunded.

 “So we’ve resolved to invite the Minister of Finance, the Director of Budget Office, the Accountant General of the Federation, Head of Service and Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission to cause appearance before this committee.”
He also said, “There’s no government that has put in place programmes for youth empowerment, training and development, but funds allocated for these programmes. Can the Auditor General trace and track them without personnel, without equipment, so as to ensure value for money?

“Personnel of agencies that you asked Auditor General to go and audit earn better than the personnel of Auditor General to the extent that Nigerian youths are not even interested in going to work with the Auditor General. They prefer to go to the NCC, paramilitary agencies, CBN, FIRS, just because working with Auditor General’s office you cannot earn a living wage.”

To this end, the committee mandated the Accountant General of the Federation to release with immediate effect all the funds required for the exercise before the end of 2020 fiscal year.

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Ex-Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, absconded from camp, forged our certificate – NYSC

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A former Aviation Minister and Senator representing Anambra North, Stella Oduah, forged the National Youth Service Corps certificate, the NYSC has said.

It stated this in a letter replying to the request by the Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders which sought to validate the claim by the senator that she lost her NYSC certificate.

Director General of the NYSC said even though Oduah was mobilised for national service in 1982/83 service year and was deployed to Lagos State, she absconded after the orientation and never completed the service.

“The consequence of this is that she is not qualified for the issuance of the certificate of national service,” the DG wrote in the letter signed on his behalf by Eddy Megwa, dated May 24, 2022, with reference number NYSC/DHQ/PPRU/783/ VILIII.

In 2014, Oduah deposed to an affidavit and obtained a police extract where she stated that she sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili in Ogboru Local Government Area to Abuja, she discovered that some of her personal belongings were missing.

The affidavit read, “I Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, Christian, Adult , Nigeria Citizen, Politician of Umuoma Village, Akili, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State do hereby make oath and depose as follows:

  1. That I am the dependent of the affidavit.
  2. That I am a native of Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
  3. That sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru Local Government Area to Abuja I discovered that my personal belongings were missing.
  4. That the missing documents are the originals of my West African School Certificate of 1978 from Zixton Secondary School Ozubulu, First School Leaving Certificate from St. John Odoakpu Onitsha, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Certificate 1982 from St Paul’s College Lawrencevile Virginia USA, National Youth Service Corps Certificate 1983, National Identity Card, United States of America Social Security Card with the number on it.
  5. That all efforts are to trace the missing documents proved abortive.
  6. That I made this affidavit in good faith believing same to be true and correct and in accordance with the Oaths Act.”

However, the Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders wrote to the NYSC Director General to issue them with a certified true copy of the certificate of national service with the Youth Service Corps issued to Stella Adaeze Oduah in 1982/83.

By the letter, NYSC has confirmed that Oduah served as minister in breach of the nation’s extant law.

The group had earlier written to the national chairman of the PDP to order Oduah to produce NYSC certificate or be disqualified from participating in the party’s primary for Anambra North Senatorial election.

Recall that a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, was forced to resign after she was found to have forged her NYSC certificate.

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Buhari promises to sign forensics, fraud examiners’ institute bill

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday promised to sign a bill seeking formal establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria (CIFCFEN).

He spoke at the State House in Abuja after being honoured with Global Integrity and Anti-Corruption Award of Excellence by CIFCFEN.

He was presented with the highest honour of the institute reserved for only African heads of states with impeccable character and unimpeachable ideals by the chairman of the Governing Council CIFCFEN Board of Trustees, Dr Iliyasu Gashinbaki.

Buhari was the first African leader to be bestowed with the award in recognition of his lifetime outstanding commitment to the fight against corruption and selfless service with exceptional integrity.

He directed the anti-corruption agencies to continue partnering with the institute for the benefit of the country.

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He also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work with the Institute in areas of providing technical assistance and capacity building to all revenue generating agencies and regulators in the public sector.

He said: ‘’The need for forensic experts arises in educating, preventing, detecting and prosecuting fraudsters, while fraud examination helps mitigate vices like embezzlement, money laundering, misuse and mismanagement of public resources.

‘’Many Nigerians, who are serious about eliminating corruption in our country, will welcome this review of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy midwifed by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption in 2017 and supported by our International friends.

‘’This effort by the institute to undertake the review of the national anti-corruption strategy is highly commendable and it has shown the usefulness of partnerships with professional bodies and my administration will continue to partner with the Institute and as well as other private institutions, the academia and other stakeholders in the fight to stop sleaze and mitigate corruption.’’

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We will restore peace, stability before leaving office, Buhari vows

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will not relent in its quest to restore peace and stability in the country.

Buhari said this on Monday during the 58th anniversary of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) in Kano.

He said his administration’s investment in the air force had helped to “turn the tide” against terrorists.

He promised that he would continue to give necessary and sufficient support to the NAF in the battle against insecurity from non-state actors.

“The huge investment in the Nigeria Air Force has helped to turn the tide against terrorist and non-state actors in our nation,” he said.

“In furtherance of our drive to continue to do more to support the air force. Rest assured that our government is willing to do even more to ensure the provision of requisite support and the encouragement to overcome various security challenges.

“This government will not rest until peace and stability is fully restored in the nation. I, therefore, urge you all to remain steadfast, committed and resolute.

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