Nigeria: SERAP Urges Buhari to Probe Missing N106bn in 149 MDAs

19 April 2021

Abuja — The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami and relevant anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that N106 billion of public funds was missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The organisation, in a letter dated April 17, 2021, and signed by the Deputy Director of the SERAP, Mr. Kolawole Oluwadare, also urged President Buhari to direct the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to create a system of public announcements that would name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55 billion of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18 billion for services not rendered and spent over N23 billion without any supporting documents.

The letter read in part: "The SERAP has carefully analysed the recently released 2018 audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation and our analysis reveals the grim allegations that N105,662,350,077.46 of public funds are missing, misappropriated or unaccounted for across 149 MDAs in 2018.

"The auditor-general stated that the alleged infractions by the 149 MDAs could have been prevented if the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation had heeded his warning to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all the MDAs.

"Any failure to promptly investigate the allegations and prosecute suspected perpetrators would breach Nigeria's anti-corruption legislation, and the country's international anti-corruption obligations. We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

"If we do not hear from you by then, the incorporated trustees of the SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest."

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