By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives has queried the office of the Accountant General over the amount of N2.2 trillion allocation to the Debt Management Office (DMO) in 2018, of which the agency could not account for.
During a meeting with the House public Account committee, the DMO said that the money was not released to them, and that it was the Office of the Accountant General that managed it.
Members of the Committee, who quizzed the DMO’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Feyi Olumide-Akinyemi, said it was wrong that agency should be appropriated money it could not account for.
The committee made the revelation at the ongoing investigative hearings into financial activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies raised by a query from the Office of the Auditor General over dwindling revenue to government.
Speaking at the meeting, DMO said although the figure was appropriated to them, they were only accountable for the sum of N721, 251, 798, which was allocated to them.
Olumide-Akinyemi, who appeared with a colleague, said it was the Accountant General that was responsible for the fund, adding that they had made a case that it be separated.
They said it featured on their account because they did a projection on the cost the country will bear.
“It does not come to our books. It does not come to our account. It does not reflect anywhere in our books. We do not have access to the other one and that is why we always say it should be separated.
“During each process the budget office requires the DMO to give them a projection of interest payments, so these are the interest projections we made that the government will bear on our domestic and external debts and then a provision to take care of local contractors which is the sinking fund,” they said.
Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke, was curious that the DMO could not account for the amount that was appropriated for and did not appear in the Accountant General’s books.
“We should hold you liable to the actual sum released to you; If it is in the law that the DMO had a budget of N2.2 trillion. Now where is the money? Who got it. Was it released? This is a law and the law says that 2.2 trillion had been given to DMO. Was the money given to the DMO? No. Who took the money? Accountant General? Why? If you are not the manager then it should not appear in your books but the books of the Accountant-General of the Federation,” he said.
Other lawmakers on the Committee variously queried if the where the figure emanated from.