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Reps reject AuGF’s Office Budget, summon finance minister, others

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has rejected the 2023 budget proposal for the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF).

Accordingly, the House has summoned the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; and the acting Accountant-General of Federation, Okolieaboh Sylva; to explain why the Office of the AuGF is undermining the Federal Government’s anti-corruption efforts.

The Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke was furious that only N62million has been budgeted for the AuGF’s office against the N2.5billion initially proposed, and wondered how the Auditor-General, Adolphus Aghughu, can effectively audit government’s agencies with such a budget.

He described the underfunding of the agency as “very unfortunate”, saying: “We have seen the determination of the lieutenants of Mr President, particularly the Minister of Finance and the DG Budget Office to undermine Mr President in his determination to wage war against corruption in the land.

“Otherwise, why would you allocate several billions to ancillary institutions and you are giving N62 million to the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation to fund capital (projects) – a constitutional office?”

In Oke’s opinion, “The Budget Office violated the principle of Procurement Act and now reduced the capital requirement of this agency to N62million – reduced their overhead by N3billion – but gave (other) agencies of the government that are doing virtually nothing billions of naira. There is no other way to tell Mr President that his lieutenants are working against him,” he said.

As a result, “Minister of Finance, the DG Budget, the Accountant-General of the Federation – the three of them – should cause an appearance before this committee, to come and tell Nigerians why they are undermining the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation,” he ruled.

We have seen the determination of the lieutenants of Mr President, particularly the Minister of Finance and the DG Budget Office to undermine Mr President in his determination to wage war against corruption in the land.

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