Auditor General of the Federation indicts Anambra/Imo River Basin over N5.843bn financial irregularities

Posted by Auditor General of the Federation indicts Anambra/Imo River Basin over N5.843bn financial irregulari | 28 December 2021 | 360 times

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The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) has issued about 29 audit queries to the management of Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority for alleged financial misconduct of over N5.843 billion for the 2019 financial year.

The queries include unspent balance from capital vote not returned to chest of N2.515 billion; irregularities in the award of contract amounting to N659.963 million; circumvention of the procurement process in the purchase of a Toyota Ambulance (N34.251 million); payment of services not rendered in Anambra South Senatorial District (N49.289 million) and payment of N820.664 million as outstanding liabilities to contractors without evidence of payment.

The queries also include failure to account for about N158.824 million, being balance of payment for outstanding liabilities owed contractors for 2018 released to the agency; payment f N77.098 million and N50.714 million, respectively, for training programme on skills acquisition and provision of tools for plumbers and artisans for water borehole not executed and irregularities in the execution of contracts through Power of Attorney at the cost of N473.122 million.

The AuGF explained that the seven different training programmes awarded to two contractors purported to have been done at different locations were awarded on the same date and the two contractors were the same but appearing with different names for the contract purpose, while payments amounting to N77,098,784.75 were paid on the same date.

He also said: “The same photographs with the same participants were used as supporting documents for all the projects, despite the fact that they were done at different locations, while the provision of Public Procurement Act, 2007, which requires receipt of quotations from at least three contractors, was not adhered to, and the bases for selection of the contractors chosen were not stated.

“The resource persons for the trainings and their profiles were not known; the lists of participants, their telephone numbers and endorsements were not attached as evidence of attendance, and the contract was split to circumvent approval threshold, thereby contravening the provisions of extant regulations.”

The queries also explained that 21 different zonal constituency training contracts amounting to N50,714,966.49 were awarded to six contractors and purported to have been done at different locations, even though they were awarded on the same day and payment made, but with the same photographs of the same participants used as supporting documents for all the projects in 2018 repeated in 2019, despite the fact that they were done at different locations and different years.

The AuGF report said the contract was split to circumvent approval threshold, thereby contravening the provisions of extant regulations.

The report also accused the authority of carrying out 10 contracts of N473,122,058.49 awarded to some contractors, but transferred from the original contractors to different contractors.

It added that there were insider dealings leading to circumvention of due process put in place by the Federal Government for accountability and transparency.

The report said no written letter was received by the authority from the individual contractors transferring their contracts to other contractors with a Power of Attorney, while there was no evidence that the contractor had executed previous job in that area of specialisation, which may have necessitated the transfer, among others. (The Nation: Excludes headline)

 


Source: News Express

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