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Senate probes Finance Ministry over N2.77bn service wide vote

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Senate probes Finance Ministry over N2.77bn service wide vote

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts has queried the Ministry of Finance over failure to account for N2.77billion released from the service-wide vote.

The panel hinged the query on the 2018 Auditor-General’s report, which stated that the ministry received N2,885,772,493.27 to take care of estacodes and other allowances for representing the Federal Government in internationally-organized annual board meetings, conferences, and workshops including contribution to Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“Of this amount, payment vouchers were raised for the sum of N113,558,372 leaving the sum of N2,772,214,120 unaccounted for,” the report said.

This, the report said, was contrary to the Financial Regulation 601, which states that “All payment entries in the cash book/accounts shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms.

“Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due. Under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised, or cash paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised.”

But the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Aliyu Ahmed, told the Senate committee that he was not with response to the query, pleading with panel to give him other time to reappear.

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