Tony Akowe, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Monday frowned at discrepancies in the budget presentation of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation while directing him to furnish the House with details of released to all federal agencies and Ministries between January and October.
While scrutinizing the budget performance of the office of the Accountant General for 2019, the House Committee on Finance queried why there were two different figures for personnel cost presented to the House Committee.
While on one page of the presentation it was stated that N649 million was appropriated, another page had N752 million, a situation the lawmakers were not comfortable with.
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Faleke told the Accountant General to explain the inconsistency in the two figures saying; “which figure are we taking? If the Accountant General who is holding our money makes this kind of mistakes, there is trouble.”
Responding, the Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris admitted it was an error for which he takes responsibility.
He said “I admit it is an error. The figure on page 8 excludes the federal pay offices across the country. As a leader, I take full responsibility for the error.
He also told the lawmakers that they were aware of the Presidential directive that MDAs should roll over some of their projects, adding that further budgetary allocation may not be released to MDAs for capital projects before the end of the year, adding that the last capital allocation for the year may have been released.
On claims by some agencies that the got zero budgetary release from their capital vote for the year, the Accountant General said no government agency got zero allocation as capital releases were made to all agencies.
On revenue generation, Idris told the lawmakers efforts must be geared up towards making all revenue generating agencies make remittances to the Federation. Account as and when due.
He said there was the need to take another look at the fiscal responsibility act and make it compelling enough to enforce the regulations on remittance of revenue to the Federation Account.
He said further that revenue generating agencies often reject officers posted to them from his office as stipulated by law, adding that all revenue agencies must be made to live up to their responsibility.
He said only the National Assembly can bring all the revenue agencies to stick to the laws of making remittances.