The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that N106bn of public funds are missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.”
SERAP, in a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said, “Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.”
In the statement dated April 17, 2021, the organisation called on Buhari “to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to create a system of public announcements to name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55bn of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18bn for services not rendered; and spent over N23bn without any supporting documents.”
SERAP added that “the reported missing public funds reflect the failure of the indicted MDAs to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations, and the failure of leadership of the MDAs to foster institutions that uphold the rule of law and human rights.”
According to the organisation, “Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the Federal Government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s human rights obligation to progressively realize Nigerians’ rights to quality health care and education, as well as reduce the growing level of public debts.
“SERAP urges you to ask Mrs Ahmed and Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs, despite the warning and recommendations by the Auditor-General.”