Demands explanation from Accountant General within 7 days
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, called Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, on Wednesday, alleged that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, paid N173 billion into various government accounts within four months.
HEDA’s allegation was contained in a letter by its Legal Officer, Rebecca David, where it alleged that the OAGF paid the said sum of money without details.
According to the HEDA the OAGF need to tell Nigerians what the money was meant for and where it was paid and give details, and also added that without proper and clear explanation the HEDA will take legal action against the OAGF.
It explained that the demand from the AGF because he is charged with the responsibility for the nation’s treasury within a mandate of four years as appointed by the President in line with the constitution, which according to the 1988 under the Civil Services reorganized Decree 43, part of the responsibility is for transparent payments and receipts.
The letter reads in part, “One of the cardinal principles of accountability is that payments made by the OAGF into any government account must give details of what the funds are meant for. This is the best global practice adopted by many countries who are committed to the fight against corruption.
“On May 29 this year, a media concern, Dataphyte, published a report titled, “₦173 Billion Payments Without Description Defeats Nigeria’s Open Government Initiative” indicating the failure of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to properly describe payment made to contractors and government agencies.
“The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) may have bent financial rules by making a total payment of N173 billion into various government accounts without details of what the funds were meant for.”
Meanwhile, the group also disclosed that in line with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011, HEDA Resource Centre in collaboration with Dataphyte demanded that the Accountant General of the Federation within seven days provide details on how the funds were disbursed from January to April 2020.
“The Accountant-General of the Federation is the administrative head of the treasury, usually appointed by the president for a period of four years in line with the Nigerian constitution. The office was created in 1988 under the Civil Services reorganization Decree 43. The OAGF is responsible for the management of payments and receipts and mandated by law to ensure a transparent accounting system.
“The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) in partnership with a data advocacy organisation, Dataphyte asks the AcGF to within seven days furnish the organizations with full information and disclosure on what the funds lodged between January and April 2020 were meant for.
“The OAGF is to explain to Nigerians how and why such a huge sum was paid into different ministries and parastatals without a proper schedule on what the funds were meant for. Unless the OAGF complies, the prospect of a legal prosecution by HEDA may be imminent”, it added.