President Muhammadu Buhari presents national budget (file photo).
By Emman Ovuakporie
House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, asked the Office of Auditor-General to the Federation, OAuGF, to go and correct errors in its 2019 budget estimates.
The committee gave the order during the agency’s budget presentation when discrepancies and misrepresentation of facts were observed by the committee members.
A member of the committee, Ralph Igbokwe (APC, IMO), had noticed that N50.8 million paid for an ongoing capital project was not appropriately captured in the agency’s presentation.
In his response, AuGF, Mr Anthony Ayine, told the committee that the error was not deliberate as it was captured in another page in the presentation under capital expenditure.
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“If you look at the page you will notice thatN50.8 million was captured.”
His response did not go down well with the lawmakers who bombarded him with more questions.
Igbokwe asked the AuGF “Are you not an accountant, how can you allow such an oversight?”
Another lawmaker also pointed to the fact that “You captured a 1000kva generator as a 100kva generator and you think we will hold hands and look at you in the face.”
At this point, the committee Chairman, Mr Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) told AuGF: “Next time when you are asked a direct question, answer in the affirmative.”
“Take note also that what we have here in your sub-heads as budget performance and utilisation are supposed to stand separately.
“Budget performance can’t in any form be budget utilisation please take note of the difference.”