Home Finance Audit Report: Senate indicts BPE over N8.7bn infraction 

Audit Report: Senate indicts BPE over N8.7bn infraction 

by Business News Report

Senate has ordered the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE to remit N8.7 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund ( CRF). It also frowned at the non payment of N387.7million incidental taxes to FIRS by BPE. The Senate decision is sequel to the consideration and approval of the Senator Matthew Urhoghide, led Senate Committee on Public Accounts after the Committee investigated the report forwarded to it by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation. According to the 2015 Audit  report submitted by the Auditor General for the Federation, upheld by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and adopted by the Senate at plenary, the BPE  committed series of financial infractions between 2014 and 2015 financial years, totalling N8.757 billion in violation of several rules of financial regulations. In the report, one of such violations was the alleged non – remittance of N4, 736, 932, 467.67billion dividends received on Federal Government Holdings which was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund ( CRF) .

In its response to the query,  BPE  said that all dividends received on Federal Government Holdings in the year under review totalling N6, 819, 388, 791.00billion were transferred to Treasury Single Account ( TSA)  in September 2015, but the Senate punctured the submission for lack  of documentary evidence to back it. The report which was adopted by the Senate read; “The  Committee observed that there was no evidence provided by BPE to show that the dividend was remitted to TSA. Consequently , the Committee recommends that the Bureau remit the sum of N4, 736, 932, 467. 67billion to the CRF , evidence of which must be submitted to Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Committee”. In  another audit query sustained and adopted by the Senate , BPE  was alleged of diversion of N2.5billion proceeds of PHCN from Access  and FCMB banks to now liquidated Aso Savings and Loans for financing of Staff Housing Scheme , contrary to financial regulation 3205.

The query and Senate’ s resolution read: ” Unauthorised transfer of N2.5billion representing PHCN proceeds in Access Bank and FCMB Accounts were diverted to ASO Savings and Loans Plc, as a condition precedent to the Staff Cooperative Mortgage , contrary to Financial Regulation 3205. The Committee observed that there was no approval from Debt Management Office ( DMO) for the Bureau to secure loan from ASO Savings just as it was also observed that there was collusion between ASO Savings and BPE. Consequently, the sum of N2.5billion with all accrued interest be remitted to the CRF by BPE with evidence of remittance forwarded to the Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Committee. All officers involved in the transaction should be surcharged for the loss of government revenue in line with Financial Regulations 3106 and 3115″.

BPE as contained in the adopted report , was also alleged of non – remittance of N1, 135, 139, 199.77billion earned interest on fixed deposit in various commercial banks. The N1.135billion  interest as explained in the query and adopted report  was from N19, 774, 272, 998.55billion deposited in various commercial banks which BPE management in its response , said it was used to settle PHCN Staff severance benefits. The  Committee in its report , accused  the Bureau of breaching  Financial Regulations and recommended for remittance of the N1.135billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The report stated thus,  “The Committee recommends that the Bureau pay the sum of N1, 135, 139, 199.77billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund , in accordance with relevant Financial Regulations and submit evidence of remittance to the Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Committee.”

Also included in the query and adopted by the Senate , was the alleged non remittance of N387, 771, 741.82million incidental taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) by BPE from the mandatory 10% WHT collected as service charge from different investors in the year under review. The report read: ” The Committee observed that WHT totalling N387, 771,741.82million , was not paid to FIRS despite BPE’s promise 5 years ago that all incidental taxes shall be deducted and remitted to FIRS. The Committee therefore recommends that the sum of N387, 771, 741.82million be remitted into the CRF by the Bureau and evidence of remittance submitted to the Auditor – General for Federation and Senate Public Accounts Committee.”

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