The Senate yesterday gave the National Examination Council (NECO) 24 hours to show evidence of payment of N7.2 billion examination materials between January and June 2017.
The Senate committee on Public Accounts (SPAC) chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide gave the ultimatum following the report of the Auditor-general of the Federation.
The report of the AGF alleged that examination materials in the sum of N7 2 billion were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store.
But the Registrar of NECO, Professor Godswill Obioma, while responding to the query before the lawmakers, claimed that NECO examination materials are sensitive items that are closely guarded in order to avoid leakages.
But when the chairman of the committee demanded for the Store Receipt Vouchers (SRV) for the expenses of ‘sensitive materials’ to the examination for the year 2016, officials of NECO who appeared in company of the Registrar were unable to present the receipt to the committee to see.
Senator Urhoghide however asked the NECO Registrar to provide the receipts to the committee within 24 hours or refund the N7.2 billion to the federal government coffer.
The query reads: “Examination materials in the sum of N7.2 billion were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into store.
“There was no evidence to confirm the receipt of the materials or their usage thereby contravening Financial Regulation 2402 which requires store keeper to certify that stores purchased have been received and taken on store ledger charge in the store ledger.
“Inquiry to verify the true position of items revealed that a committee was in charge of the receipt and distribution of examination materials.
“However, despite the repeated request for documentary evidence in relation to the supply, the Committee failed to produce any document for verification.”