10 November 2017

Nigeria: Civil Defence Unable to Account for N18.1 Million - Audit Report

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, could not account for N18 million (N18,144,800) in 2015, an audit report reviewed by PREMIUM TIMES has revealed.

The report, which detailed financial records of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Nigerian government in 2015, is the latest from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

The report revealed a common pattern of poor accounting by federal establishments.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the report indicted several other ministries and agencies including the ministry of women affairs and the accountant general's office.

According to the report, N17,051,800 was missing in the records of the 'general payments' of the NSCDC. Also, relevant documents could not be provided for N410,000 value added tax (VAT) and N680,000 withholding tax allegedly remitted to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

This makes it a total of N18,144,800 unaccounted for between January and December 2015 by the corps.

"The sum of N40,615,156 was recorded into the transcript as payments for the period under review, whereas a corresponding entry of N27,939,956.06 was recorded in the Analysis Book, thus leaving a discrepancy of N17,054,800 unaccounted for," the report stated.

"Value Added Tax totaling N2,110,605 was remitted to the Federal Inland Revenue Service. However, receipts of acknowledgement of remittance for the sum of N1,700,605 have been produced, while receipts for the balance of N410,000.00 allegedly remitted to FIRS have not been produced as at the time of writing this report in October, 2016.

"A total sum of N3,321,693, being Withholding Tax deductions from various contractors, were remitted to the FIRS over the period under review. However, only acknowledgement receipts for the sum of N2,641,693 issued by FIRS was produced for audit. The balance of N680,000.00 allegedly remitted have no acknowledgement receipts for the payment made."

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted, NSCDC's Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh, he said the inability of the corps to provide relevant documents at the time they were needed for the audit team's review may have accounted for indicting report.

"It's regretted that we were unable to produce certain financial documents, tax certificates, and other documents to reflect evidence of payments. This was not that we actually misappropriated the funds.

"The paperwork from FIRS and various processes we had to undergo to ensure statements of accounts are prepared affected the documents we presented for audit as at the time of the report.

Mr. Okeh said the change of corps' leadership may have also affected the process of accountability.

"More so, there was a change of guard and a new Commandant General came on board in July 2015. At the same time, the Corps' Director of Finance was transferred to another agency and we had a new one. This change of guard and a lot of processes 'over-contributed' to the discrepancies we had in the statement of account presented for audit."

The spokesperson said the corps had embarked on a process to rectify the anomalies.

"However, the corps had since remedied the situation and the required documents, receipts and vouchers not available for audit have since been presented to the Auditor General. We hope that subsequent reports will reflect the corrections we have made and issues of non-availability of documents for audits won't be an issue again," Mr. Okeh said.


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