Thursday, May 23, 2024

SGF, CBN to appear before Senate over N596 ecological fund

Public Accounts Committee of the Nigeria Senate has summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to appear before it.

They are expected to account for the circumstances surrounding the over N596 billion Ecological Fund deducted from the Federation Account between 1999 and 2015.

The Senate Panel reached the decision to summon both the CBN and the SGF as it began investigation into the queries brought before it against virtually all the MDAs by the Auditor General in his financial statement for 2015.

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The Senate Panel commenced full scale investigation into the queries raised by the Auditor General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine in his financial report for 2015 with the Accountant General for the Federation, Ahmad Idris on the hot seat.

Before arriving at summoning the two agencies, Accountant General for the Federation, couldn’t give a satisfactory answers to questions posed by the Committee Chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide and other panelists.

The inability of the Office of the Accountant General to give satisfactory answers to the “sharp drop in Federal Government share of Trust Funds between 2011 and 2015 as well as the management of the money, brought the CBN and the SGF into the fray to explain their own side of the story.

Senator Uroghide said that CBN would explain the current status of the Ecological Fund in its kitty, while the SGF would explain failure to establish an agency that manages thefund.

“The law is clear on how Ecological Fund should be managed. The SGF will have to tell the Senate why he failed to establish an agency that will manage the funds, he said.

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This was as the Senate Panel resolved to begin a thorough oversight of the Ecological Fund.

Yet there were more queries for the Accountant General to answer: the discrepancy of N28 billion in what the Nigeria Customs Service remitted for Sugar and Cocoa levies and what was recorded in his own book.

The Senate Panel wants the CBN and the SGF to come forward from next week.

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