The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has started an investigation into the alleged N13bn extra-budgetary spending by some Nigerian foreign missions.
The investigation was based on the report by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the financial and other activities of the foreign missions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2010 and 2019.
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The report, according to the chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke, alleged that despite the paucity of funds, some of Nigeria’s foreign missions had engaged in extra-budgetary spending and refused to remit Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) into government coffers as provided for in the nation’s extant laws.
The report stated that Nigerian Embassy in Brassila had been spending $50,247.89 (N7,500,000.00) annually on rent for two of its staff. The report added that the embassy also exchanged six old vehicles whose prices were not made available for two new ones purchased for $95,211.00 (N11,754,444.44).
It further revealed that an additional $17,642.08 (N2,375,224.28) was spent on shipment, insurance and clearing of the new vehicles; while the purchase and all other spending were not budgeted for.
The report further alleged that the then Nigerian Ambassador to Poland had claimed over N9.777m in 2010 for non-existing domestic staff. According to the report, the Nigerian Ambassador to France spent over N1.75m million to entertain guests without a record of the guests.
It further alleged that over N1m was also spent on haircuts, manicures, hair colouring and tickets to Nigeria for consultation without evidence of official invitation/approval for the journey. The report alleged that several missions denied audit staff from the Office of the Auditor-General access to financial records based on circulars from the ministry of foreign affairs.