Published March 1, 2021
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has asked the Office of the Accountant -General of the Federation to forward the financial statement on the utilisation of the N 2 .2 tn revenue accruing from foreign and domestic debts raised by Debt Management Office .
Chairman of the committee , Oluwole Oke , made the request based on a query issued against the DMO for the 2018 financial year .
Oke said apart from details of the utilisation of the fund , the committee also wanted to know the reason it reflected in the DMO ’s financial statement .
He asked why the office could not account for the money that was appropriated for , which also did not appear in the books of the OAGF .
The lawmaker said, “ We should hold you liable to the actual sum released to you . If it is in the law that the DMO had a budget of N 2 . 2 tn , now where is the money? Who got it ? Was it released ? This is a law and the law says that N 2 .2 tn had been given to DMO . Was the money given to the DMO ? No. Who took the money ? Accountant General? Why ? If you are not the manager, then it should not appear in your books but the books of the Accountant General of the Federation. ”
Members of the committee , at its investigative hearing on Friday , asked if the money did not come from the DMO to the National Assembly for approval or it was only discovered at the National Assembly.
The Director General of DMO , Patience Oniha , while confirming that the sum of N 2. 2 tn accrued as interest ( cost ) from the loans secured by the office for the Federal Government , stated that only the sum of N 721, 251 ,798 was allocated to DMO .
On the non -rendition of the audited accounts , Oniha , who was represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts, DMO , Mrs Feyi Olumide -Akinyemi , also said the office’s audited account had been submitted to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning , Zainab Ahmed , for approval .
She said, “ It does not come to our books . It does not come to our account. It does not reflect anywhere in our books . We do not have access to the other one and that is why we always say it should be separated .
“ During each process, the budget office requires the DMO to give them a projection of interest payments . So, these are the interest projections we made that the government will bear on our domestic and external debts and then a provision to take care of local contractors which is the sinking fund . ”
The DMO boss stated that nothing was released to the office for capital expenditure in 2018 , but fund was later released in 2019 .
She said out of a total sum of N 721, 251 ,798 , the sum of N 435, 768 ,793 was for personnel cost , N 110, 883 ,005 for overhead cost and N 174. 6 m for capital expenditure.
Oniha said in the year under review , the DMO received 89 . 74 per cent of the sum for personnel cost , which was released through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation , while the remaining amount was mopped up automatically.
She said out of the overhead cost , the office got 58 per cent of the budget, which is N 64 m , while the balance was also mopped up at the end of the year .
Oniha also disclosed that the DMO currently has 110 staff members on its nominal roll , for which the sum of N 64 m was released in 2019 .
Oke , therefore , directed the clerk to the committee , to write a letter demanding the financial records on the utilisation of the N 2 .2 tn .
He also requested for all relevant payment vouchers issues by the DMO for all its financial transactions for the years under review .