Budget defence: Senate slams Auditor -General over corruption in public offices

By Haruna Salami
Senate Public Account Committee, SPAC has accused the Auditor General of the Federation of institutionalising corruption in the country.
The chairman of the Committee, Matthew Urhoghide said this Thursday when the Auditor General of the Federation, Aghughu Adolphus and his team appeared before the committee during budget defence of the agency.
“Why do you wait for corruption to be consummated before you come on? You are responsible for institutionalising corruption. You sieve your report, remove NNPC, NIMASA, etc and query small companies/agencies of government …
This he said will make the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to spend billions of naira to pursue recovery of stolen funds.
On 2020 budget performance of the agency, Senator Urhoghide said “your performance is below expectation”.
“For you to have money released to you to renovate your offices in Abuja, Lagos, etc and you did not utilise it, how can we as a committee defend this?
For example, N879 million was released to Auditor General for overhead expenditure in 2020, N181 million has not been utilised, N51 million for local training, N25.5 million has not been utilised in the face of dilapidated head office crying for renovation and staff who need to update their skills.
According to Urhoghide, three years ago, the Committee made presentation to then Senate President, Bukola Saraki who graciously approved their request to allocate more funds to Auditor General, but money that was approved for the agency “was not utilised, meaning you do not need the money”.
“If you have utilised that money in 2018, it would have been repeated in 2019 and it will be a budget line item.
The committee also accused the Auditor General of hoarding money voted for capital projects, saying this largely accounted for the prevailing corruption and fraud in ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.