By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives Friday grilled the management of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for late submission of audited accounts.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Oluwole Oke stated that the accounts showed huge expenditures by the agency.
The Committee was investigating the audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (oAuGF) against NAFDAC and other MDAs.
The query had accused NAFDAC of “gross misconduct” in line with the sanction stipulated in the Financial Regulations.
NAFDAC was also quizzed on the N5.2 billion appropriated in 2019 and N11.2 billion internally generated revenue and the sum of N1.2 billion allegedly spent on payment of allowances to members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Responding to the audit queries, NAFDAC Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Gbenga Ayowande stated that the agency submitted its 2017 audited account in 2020, adding that the 2018 audited Account was however submitted on Wednesday, 25th February, 2021.
On the N2bn COVID-19 intervention fund released to the agency, Adeyeye said that the fund has not been touched.
The Committee, therefore, demanded details of N5 billion balance.
It also noticed some irregularities in the account of the agency, saying that it declared N1.1 billion recurrent expenditure while it was actually N1.2 billion.
Similarly, the Committee also decided to look into the application of N5.5 billion out of the N7.7 billion appropriated and Value Added Tax accrued from its services, and the sum of N2 billion released as COVID-19 Intervention fund.
It, therefore, requested for all payment vouchers on the N4.7 billion spent just as it started to write CBN and IPPIS on all the payments made by the agency.
The Committee Chairman also directed the Clerk to write the companies with various contracts as well as various regulatory agencies such as PENCOM, NSITF and FIRS to provide relevant compliance certificates by the companies as well as Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
He said, “We will lift the veil to see whether the companies belong to the Director of Finance and Accounts”.
In a related development, the Committee also met with the management of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Nsikav Ebong funds spent on printing in 2017, drugs and supply in 2018; N2.3 billion spent on research and development against the sum of N280 million spent in the previous year, as well as other consulting expenses worth N4.2 billion.
The committee queried N48.9 billion incurred on procurement, as well as about N500 million spent on international travels and transport, among other issues.
Consequently, the Chairman issued a 7-day ultimatum to NACA management to provide all relevant Appropriation Acts and Procurement records for proper scrutiny.
The committee also scrutinized the accounts of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA) to which it said that the sum of N5.517 billion was released in 2018 while N2.2 billion was reported as recurrent expenditure.
“We have to stop this in the public service”, Oke said.