The Senate has commenced investigation into alleged secret withdrawal of N151 billion from the Federation Account by the Budget Office.
It was gathered that the withdrawal took place in 2015.
Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide is relying on a 2016 Audit Report submitted to the National Assembly by Office of Auditor of the Federation.
But the budget office claimed that the N151 billion reported in the Auditor General’s report was neither received nor spent by the agency.
The budget office in a written response said, “The N151 billion reported in the Auditor General Report was neither received not spent by the Budget Office . Hence the figure was not recorded in the relevant Budget Office books.
The Office of the Auditor General in its query had said, “The Budget Office of the Federation expended the sum of N151,371,407,619.10 (One hundred and fifty-one billion, three hundred and seventy-one million, four hundred and seven thousand, six hundred and nineteen naira, ten kobo) above its approved budget for the year 2015.
“This was extra budgetary spending incurred without recourse to the National Assembly, in contravention of Section 80(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which stipulates that “no moneys shall be withdrawn from the CRF of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by this Constitution or where the issues of those moneys have been authorized by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of this Constitution”. In view of this, it is difficult to accept the extra budgetary expenditure of N151,371,407,619.10 as a proper and legitimate charge against public funds.”