The Senate has urged the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) to recover the N76 billion from some agencies and pay it into the Special Funds Accounts of the Federation.
It also urged the AGF against further withdrawals from the special funds account without the approval of the National Assembly.
The resolution of the Senate followed its consideration of the report of its Public Accounts Committee on the 2015 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF) before embarking on its annual vacation.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, told the Senate that the amount was withdrawn as a loan from the Special Account and paid to some agencies in January 2015.
Some of the agencies said to have benefited from the amount include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Army, Office of National Security Adviser, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others.
The amount, according to the report, was taken from the 25 per cent Husked Rice Levy, one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme’s (CISS) pool levy l, 15 per cent Wheat Grain Levy and 10 per cent Rice Levy. The agencies have not repaid the loans, according to the report.
The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation in its 2015 Audit Report, which has been considered by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, explained that N922.4m was taken from 25 per cent Husked Brown Rice Levy as a loan while N7billion was also collected from the one per cent CISS levy as loan.
It added that N10billion was given to INEC as a loan to finance the 2015 general elections.
The report further showed that additional N7billion was paid to INEC bringing the total loans advanced to the agency on January 12, 2015 to N17.92billion. According to the report, the loan has not been repaid.
The report added that the 15 per cent Wheat Grain Levy, which amounted to N31.4billion, was given to the Nigerian Army, the NYSC, revitalisation of Universities Infrastructures Account and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as loans.
The Nigerian Army, according to the report, was loaned N4.7billion from the N31.4billion, while NYSC received N6.4billion to fund its activities, including the passing out of corps members at its orientation camps.
The report added that N10billion was paid to the Revitalization of Universities Infrastructures Account in order to fund federal Universities.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, according to the report, received N10.2billion to finance the 2013 dry season farming.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity got part of the N37billion from the Rice Levy account
Other beneficiaries of the N37billon were the Office of National Security Adviser, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Communication Satellite Operation, INEC and NELMCO.
According to the report, INEC got N10billion, NIGCOSAT – N450million, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity – N5billion (to pay the allowance of unskilled youths in the public works programme.
The ONSA received N3.5billion, Ministry of Defence – N428million and Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructures Account – N5.3billion.
The report of the AuGF said the money was not approved by the National Assembly before the AGF released it to the agencies.
The query reads: “It was observed from the 2014 audited accounts that mandate No FD/LP2014/57/1/82/DF dated 12th of January 2015 amounting to N7billion was withdrawn from one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme Levy as loan to INEC to finance 2015 elections.
“The loan is contrary to the purpose for which the fund was created. It is to fund the destination Inspection Service Providers as provided in the law because they are not paid from annual budget.”