By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— THE Senate has resolved to stop further budgetary approval for government parastatals and agencies that have not submitted their audited reports and accounts to Auditor-General of the Federation, AGF, for the past two years, just as it has issued a deadline of May 2018 to all the erring parastatals, to submit their reports.
It said the action of these parastatals contravened Section 85 of the 1999 constitution.
According to the Senate, the status of compliance shows that 47 parastatals have fully complied up to 2016; 85 have not submitted since inception; four are in arrears of 11 years and above; 17 are in arrears of six years and 10 years; 103 are in arrears of between three and five years and 235 in arrears of between one and two years.
It disclosed that at least 85 agencies, including Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture have never submitted their audited reports to the AGF since they were established.
Decisions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to the consideration of Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South)-led Senate Committee on Public Accounts on the status of compliance of parastatals’ submission of audited accounts and auditor’s report thereon to the office of the Auditor- General of the Federation.
Presenting the report, Senator Urhoghide, who explained that AGF is statutorily required to submit the reports of audited accounts, which he receives from the parastatals, to the National Assembly, said these parastatals have the responsibility to ensure their accounts are audited using one of three auditors recommended by the AGF.
He said: “EFCC is of the opinion that once they come for budget defence, it amounts to submitting their audited reports. The EFCC Act itself says they have to submit their audited reports six months into the financial year.”