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Irregularities mar FG’s N1bn investments in financial institutions

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Irregularities mar FG's N1bn investments in financial institutions

Senate has uncovered irregularities in the N1.1trillion federal government’s investments in Crown Agents Bank and some other financial institutions.

Crown Agents Bank is a United Kingdom regulated provider of wholesale foreign exchange and cross-border payment services connected across frontier and emerging markets.

The irregularities, as revealed by the 2015 report of the Auditor General for the Federation, AuGF, arose from the failure of the Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed to provide share certificate to authenticate genuineness of N46billion investment in 2015, and written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3 billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit.

In the report adopted by the Senate last month before proceeding on annual recess, there were no additional investments in the power sector during the year under review, as against N547.8billion being opening balance in the National Integrated Power Projet, NIPP at the beginning of 2015.

The report stated further that Crown Agents disposed off investment totaling N3billion while additional investments amounting to N439.7billion were also acquired during the year under review without documentary evidence.

Account where the proceeds of the disposal of the sum of N3billion credited, was not provided for audit confirmation.

It was unravelled that about N239billion, investment was an overcast recorded in the 2014 investment.

The Auditor report reads: “It was observed that the federal government of Nigeria had additional investment in the sum of N46.3 billion and total disposal of investment of N134.3billion as at year ended 2015. The shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of the additional investment of N46.3 billion were not produce for audit.

“Also, there was no written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit confirmation.

“There were no additional investment in the power sector during the year under review as against the N547 billion being opening balance of investment in the National Integrated Power Projet (NIPP) at the beginning of 2015.

“The Accountant-General of the Federation was required by the Auditor-General to provide the authorities for all the additional and disposal of investment during the year under review and provide the share certificate of all the additional investment for audit verification.”

But, the AGF Office in its response said: “The Accountant General of the Federation stated that the investment of N10 billion and N16.8billion in Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and Galaxy Backbone Plc, respectively, did not occur in year 2015 but we’re investment omitted from previous statement while the investment of N20billion in Development Bank of Nigeria was a new Federal government of Nigeria Investment.

“The additional investment of N160 million in Infrastructure Bank was as a result of the subscription of Right Issue declared by the Bank.”

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Senator Urhoghide, however, rejected the explanation of the Accountant-General as the he was unable to produce share certificate.

Based on the committee’s presentation, the Senate therefore directed the Office of Accountant General of the Federation to provide share certificate to the Auditor General for the Federation for audit within 69 days.

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Irregularities mar FG's N1bn investments in financial institutions

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