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Vouchers Of Our N17Billion Spending Beaten By Rain, Possibly Eaten By Termites, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Tells Senate

August 15, 2022

This came as the committee is scrutinising the audit queries issued against NSITF as contained in the 2018 report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AUGF).

The Senate Public Account Committee (SPAC) has mandated both past and present officials of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to provide evidential documents on how it spent N17.128 billion in 2013.

This came as the committee is scrutinising the audit queries issued against NSITF as contained in the 2018 report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AUGF).

According to ThisDay, NSITF officials alluded on Friday during the committee's enquiry hearing over the 17.158 billion the AUGF discovered not accounted for in its 2018 audit report that termites could have eaten up the vouchers.

The N17.158 billion as stated in the 2018 AuGF report, was the total amount of money transferred by the NSITF from its Skye and First Bank accounts into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies from January to December 2013.

The Auditor–General’s office in the 2018 Audit report, raised 50 different queries bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds by the management of the agency.

The paper quoted one of the AUGF's queries thus: “The management of the NSITF as shown in statements of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye Bank Plc, for the period 1st January, 2013 to 20th December, 2013, and Statements of Account No.2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period 7th January, 2013 to 28th February, 2013, transferred amounts totaling N 17,158,883,034.69 billion to some persons and companies from these accounts.

“However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.

“These are in violation of Financial rule 601 which states that, ‘All payment entries in the cashbook/accounts shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms. Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due.

“Under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised, or cash paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised.”

But the SPAC, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide on Friday interrogated NSITF’s past and present managements on where monies totalling N17.158bn were transferred between January and December 2013.

The management could not offer any satisfactory explanations for the undocumented multiple transfers.

The officers in charge of the agency in 2013, told the committee that documents like vouchers were left behind by them while the present Managing Director of NSITF, Dr. Michael Akabogu said no documents of such were in their kitty.

He said, “The Container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beaten by rains over the years but even possibly being eaten up by termites.

“As directed by this committee, I told the past management officers on the need for them to help us out in answering this query with necessary documents which have not been made available for us.”

However, in his submissions, the Managing Director of NSITF from 2010 to 2016, Mallam Umar Munir Abubakar said he was unaware of the query and had no explanations for it since the audit was not carried out during his tenure. 

Abubakar’s successor, Mr Adebayo Somefun who was head of the agency from May 2017 to July 2020, said those in the account section should be able to trace the documents which the current General Manager (Finance), alleged to have been locked up in an abandoned container within the premises of the Trust Fund in Abuja.

Not satisfied with the submissions of the past and present NSITF officials, SPAC ordered them to reappear before the committee with all the requested evidential documents unfailingly on Thursday, September 22, 2022.