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Senate queries FRC over N258m extra-budgetary spending

The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over an extra-budgetary expenditure of N258 million on personnel cost in the 2017…

The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over an extra-budgetary expenditure of N258 million on personnel cost in the 2017 fiscal year.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, hinged the query on the 2018 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation, currently being considered by the National Assembly.

The audit report said, “We observed from our audit that the Council incurred the sum of N339,834,586.00 as against N81,245,107.00 contained in the 2017 approved budget.

“This resulted in an extra-budgetary expenditure of N258,589,479.00 on personnel cost.

“This non-compliance with the Appropriation Act was due to the failure of the Executive Secretary to seek approval for a supplementary budget from the appropriate authorities, that is, through the Ministry of Finance and National Assembly.”

But the council’s Executive Secretary, Daniel Asapokhai, in his response, said, “For the year 2017, the sum of N81 million was appropriated as government subvention for personnel cost for the council. The amount in question was to augment the Council’s personnel cost for the fiscal year in question.

“The Council customarily prepares its budget at the beginning of every year detailing both Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and government subvention. This is usually sent for approval before implementation.

“The Council has an approved salary structure, which it pays from the IGR. The amount referenced by the auditors as over expenditures not approved was staff salary funded via IGR as contained in the approved budget.”

The Senate panel, however, asked the Executive Secretary to present the approval for N258 million extra-budgetary expenditure.

But the Executive Secretary promised to send the document backing the expenditure to the committee secretariat.