N2.97 billion not accounted for in 2016 audit, report alleges
The Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has disclosed that N2.97 billion for critical projects in 14 states of the country was unaccounted in the 2016 audit report.
It stated this in its 2016 report, saying the fund was meant for water and road projects for constituencies and were nominated by some members of the seventh Assembly but were either abandoned or not executed after huge sums of money was paid to contractors.
Executive Director of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, who disclosed this during an Accountability Dialogue yesterday in Abuja, said some of the projects are located in Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Kwara states.
He specifically cited the Igboho-Kishi road nominated for Oyo State by Hosea Agboola and awarded in 2014.
He said the project was awarded for N94 million and about N83 million has been paid to the contractor, adding: “As at now, the road has been abandoned. We have the pictures, the road is still in deplorable state.”
He also mentioned the water project in Pansheke, Ogun State, nominated by former Speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and awarded for over N300 million, saying it has also been abandoned after a lump sum was paid to the contractor.
Stressing the need for the National Assembly to review the 2016 audit report, take necessary actions and make recommendations to the executive for implementation, he lamented that funds were constantly being wasted, while the people suffer dearth of critical infrastructure.
He lamented that the Audit act of 1956 has become obsolete and as such there was the need to pass the audit bill at the National Assembly to the President so as to have a more efficient audit office to deliver value for the money.
He pointed out that they have been working to ensure that abandoned projects in rural communities are either completed or the funds retrieved from defaulting contractors and returned to the national treasury.
Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, stressed the need to strengthen the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to work with the AGF’s office.
Onyekpere also stressed the need for the Auditor General to be given power to probe security votes to state Governors and those found wanting should be named and shamed when their tenure expires.
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