Management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), has been probed by the senate for failing to justify the spending of N17.158 billion in 2013 with the required evidential documents. NSITF alleged that most of the vouchers containing details of how N17.158 billion yet to be accounted for were spent, have been eaten up by termites.
The Auditor-General’s office had in a 2018 report, raised 50 different queries bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds by the management of the agency, which is now being reviewed by the Senate committee on the public account.
The N17.158 billion as stated in the 2018 Audit report, was the total amount of money transferred by NSITF from its skye and first Bank accounts into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies from January to December 2013.
Auditor-General’s office had in the 2018 Audit report, raised 50 different queries bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds by the management of the agency, which is being looked into by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts.
“Management of NSITF as shown in statements of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye bank plc, for the period 1st January 2013 to 20th December 2013, and Statements of Account No.2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period 7th January 2013 to 28th February 2013, transferred amounts totalling N 17,158,883,034.69billion to some persons and companies from these accounts.
However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.
These are in violation of Financial rule 601 which states that ‘All payment entries in the cashbook/accounts shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms’. Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due.
Under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised, or cash paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised”.
In sustaining or vacating the query, the Senate Committee headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), interrogated NSITF’s past and present managements on where monies totalling N17.158billion were transferred between January and December 2013.
The management, could not offer any candid explanation for the undocumented multiple transfers. The past administration said the documents like vouchers were left behind while the present managing director of NSITF, Dr Michael Akabogun said no document of such is in their possession.
Irked by submissions of the past and present NSITF officials, the committee chairman, Senator Urhoghide, ordered them to reappear before the committee with all the requested evidential documents unfailingly on Thursday, September 22, 2022. He stated: “This committee has given you people more than enough time to respond to queries slammed on NSITF in the 2018 Audit report by the office of Auditor General of the Federation.
“The queries are 50 in number ranging from one misappropriation to the other in billions of Naira. The one-on N17.158billion multiple transfers carried out in 2013 have not been answered at all, not to talk of N5.5billion allegedly diverted into a commercial bank account without approval, N2.2billion unauthorized Investment without adequate records etc.
These are completely unacceptable and the committee will make sure that these queries are sustained if required evidential documents on monies spent or misappropriated are not provided.”