Senate has indicted the Budget Office, Ministry of Information, Ministry of interior and 36 others Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs over un retired Advances to the Federation Account. The Senate has however demanded for the sanctioning of Accounting Officers of MDAs in accordance with the provision of Rule 3124 of Financial Regulations. The resolution of the Upper Chamber was sequel to the 2015 Audited General Report submitted by Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo South. The query read , “Some MDAs showed increase in outstanding advances to the tune of N2,296,567,084.37 over 2014 comparative figures and others showing no movement contrary to the provisions of the extant regulations which require prompt retirement of advances.
The above implies that: There is a violation of Financial Regulations (2009) Nos.1404,1405,1416,1419 and 1420 which require prompt retirement of advances. The MDAs that had previous year “advances that were not retired were granting additional advances. The huge outstanding advances imply a breakdown of internal controls over the issuance of advances. “The non-retirement of advances as at when due should be addressed by the Accountant-General of the Federation with strict sanctions.” According to the Committee’s report, the Account-General did not respond to this query. The Committee therefore observed that Non response to query means acceptance of the infractions contained therein and this is again a violation of the Financial Regulations.
The Committee however recommended for the sanctioning of the Accounting Officers of the MDAs in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3124 of Financial Regulations which states that “A Public Officer who fails to respond to a query issued to him within 21 days for non-retirement of advances or imprests shall be surcharged and the total amount involved recovered.”. Other agencies involved in the infractions are National Industrial Court, Ministry of Communication Technology, High Court of Justice , FCT, Sharia Court of Appeal, Abuja , National Planning Commission (NPC), Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Others are Federal Ministry of Culture and National Orientation, Public Complaints Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Nigeria Immigration Office , Police Service Commission.