The audit report from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF) has cited failure of proper management of available resources for the fight of the dreaded Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19 sa being responsible for its Increasing waive in the country.
This was contained in a 51-page interim report, which is broken down into four different sections and dated September 2020, already forwarded to the Clerk to the National Assembly vide letter reference AuGF/SA. 2020/COVID/19/SIM/01 and signed by the then Auditor General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, who retired from service on October 25, 2020.
The Report insisted that there was the need for government to review public expenditure regulations to take care of future national emergencies.
It stated that this became necessary because of the low level of utilisation of budgeted funds as a result of lack of proper approval for virement from the previous purposes (line items) to COVID-19 specific line items.
The Report pointed out that out of the N83,895,139,427.00 budgeted by the government for the fight against COVID-19, N63,797,839,685.42 had been disbursed to implementing entities and states at the time of the audit, adding however that there was low utilisation of available funds for the fight against the pandemic.
It further pointed out that of the amount disbursed, N22, 163,130,411.00 was to the PTF, N24, 634,709,274.42 was to participating agencies and N17,000,000,000.00 to state governments.
It attributed the low level of utilisation to proper approval of virement from the previous purposes (line items) to COVID-19 specific line items, saying: “We further observed that the level of expenditure on COVID-19 from the 2020 appropriation of each participating agency is unclear, as is the extent to which the agencies were able to vire funds from the COVID-19 allocation to replenish existing budget lines applied towards the pandemic under emergency.
According to the document, “Funds made available directly through the PTF for the operations of the task force and for the benefit of participating agencies were also not spent for reasons as yet unclear
“These funds amounted to N4.5bn for the operations of the PTF and N17.6bn for the participating agencies. We understand the core reason may be delays in the administrative processes for accessing the available funds,”
It stated that information from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation suggested that a total of N1.9 trillion was received as donation out of which N494,768,059.95 was received directly into the CBN TSA from specific contributors.
These are: N70 million from the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Agency, N48.120 million from the China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, N47,768,971.31 from the Senate and delivered in two tranches, N278,879,088.76 from the House of Representatives and received in two tranches and N50 million from the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board.
The report said that while there were detailed arrangements by the PTF to deliver on its mandate, including setting out specific pillars of activity/response, there were notifiable gaps in the evidence presented to show that the PTF has a full overview of the activities of all of the participating stakeholders.
“Although we did not fully expect the groups to fall under the remit of the PTF, we are concerned that unless efforts are better aligned, there will be inefficiencies, duplication of efforts, waste, delay etc,” the report stated.