Missing $20b: My Office Lacks Powers To Execute Forensic Audit – Auditor General

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The Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, has told the Senate Committee on Finance investigating the alleged missing $20 billion that his office lacked the constitutional powers to carry out forensic audit on NNPC account.

Suspended CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has alleged that $20 billion remain unremitted by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to the federation account during previous hearings.

Ukura making his submission before the senate investigative committee said the Nigerian constitution bars his office from conducting such forensic audit and that he could only perform “routine checks” on government corporations and agencies.

He said: “I want to refer you to Section 85 (2) of the constitution which says nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising the Auditor General to audit the account of, or appoint auditors for government statutory corporation, commission, authorities, agencies, including bodies established by the act of National Assembly.

“Subsection 4 says the Auditor General shall have power to conduct routine checks on all government statutory corporation, com-mission, agencies and so on.

“Going by the Section 3 of Subsection 8 (5), the Auditor General cannot do a forensic auditing of any of the government agencies, he added.

Sanusi’s allegation and petition to the Senate Committee led to the ongoing probe of the missing fund where the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had told the committee that she was going to hire foreign experts for forensic audit of NNPC.

Vanguard reported that the Senate Committee on Finance invited the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to make its own submission as regards forensic auditing.

According to the report, the Ahmad Makarfi-led Finance Committee had asked the Auditor General to explain the link between his routine checks in NNPC and the committee’s investigation.

The Committee specifically requested Ukura to furnish it with information on whether the periodic check his office was doing in NNPC had to do with the investigation it is currently carrying out.

Ukura said that already 20 chartered accountants had been deplored to the corporation to look into the financial records and establish if there were actually missing funds.

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