Criticism trails AGF’s inability to present IPPS details for scrutiny

Idris Ahmed


Panel chides Customs’ Comptroller-General over absence at meeting

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, came under criticism yesterday when his office failed to produce 2015 Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) details for scrutiny.

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts had requested the documents to assist it in its current probe of the queries raised by the Auditor-General in his financial statement that indicted the Office of the Accountant General. Even though the accountant-general himself was not available, his representative, a director in his office, Adiro Emmanuel, was unable to provide all the necessary documents pertaining to the IPPIS account put at N2.9 billion.

The accountant-general had at the previous week told the Senate panel that the documents were available on-line and that his office could make them available on demand. But yesterday, his representative returned empty-handed with an excuse that the Office of the Accountant-General had requested the documents from the CBN.

The accountant-general was also unable to provide satisfactory response to why Nigeria’s share of funds dropped drastically from N200 billion to N165 billion in 2015.

Also, on why the N596 billion Ecological Fund was not invested to yield more money for Nigeria, the accountant-general’s explanation that it was against CBN policy to do so was not quite satisfactory to the lawmakers.

The representative of the accountant-general rather appealed for some grace of time, as the documents were not available.Apparently piqued by the submission of the AGF, Chairman of the committee, Matthew Urhoghide, took a swipe at the AGF for his inability to provide the records on IPPIS for three years running even after he was issued query in 2015 over audited report of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

According to him, there was no document for IPPS since 2015.The committee, therefore, insisted that the document must be made available to the committee in two weeks’ time.Meanwhile, the committee chairman, who warned the Comptroller-General of Customs to be aware that his refusal to appear to defend allegations against him was an admittance of guilt, said the committee would write him that they would hold him responsible for the testimony given by the auditor-general.He said they would take his deliberate refusal to appear as no defence, hence he has taken the accusations as correct.

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