Under Buhari’s watch: Veterinary Council failed to pay N480m in two years – Auditor General’s Report
THE Veterinary Council of Nigeria failed to pay N480 million to the federal government coffer between 2018 and 2019, the Auditor General’s 2019 report showed.
The Council is among dozens of federal government agencies exposed by the audit for violating applicable laws regarding the management of funds generated or allocated by the government to their institutions.
The Council must provide the reasons for the violations before the competent authorities, return the funds to the public treasury or face sanctions; said Federation Auditor General Adolphus Agghu, who oversaw the audit.
In addition to sanctions, the audit ridiculed the councils’ leadership for letting the nation lose the funds.
Aghughu signed the audit report titled “Auditor General of the Federation’s Annual Report on Non-Compliance Issues/Internal Control Weaknesses in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Year Sec. ending on December 31, 2019”.
ICIR had reported how the Nigerian Customs Service Failed To Pay N125 Billion To Federation Account and how MDA chiefs failed to account for N377 billion and another $100,000.
In addition, this newspaper reported how the The House of Representatives could not account for running costs of 2.5 billion naira and how the theft and illegal sale of weapons to criminals contributed to the disappearance of 178,459 munitions in the country’s police force.
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President Muhammadu Buhari touted the fight against corruption during his presidential campaign in 2015.
But his presidency was characterized by several cases of corruption and abuse of power.
In January 2019, former President of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, told Nigerians that the party forgives the sins of anyone who becomes its member unconditionally.
Cases against the Veterinary Council
Veterinary Council of Nigeria is one of the fairly small agencies of the Nigerian government.
According to the audit, violations committed by the Council include:
- Cash advances not reimbursed.
- Non-payment of one percent stamp duty on the account of the federation.
- Non-deduction of withholding tax and value added tax.
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The audit accused the Council of making improper payments to its multi-purpose cooperative society and paying compensation without approval.
- Non-remittance of internally generated revenue (RGI) to the Treasury.
- Non-payment of 80% of the operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (FRC).
- Non-collection of government revenue from the rent of Council property.
- No remittance of other funds.
- Unauthorized expenses from internally generated revenue.
The unreimbursed cash advance amounted to N7.3 million. The fund consists of 24 advances made to the Acting Clerk of the Council between January 2018 and December 2019.
The audit indicated that the Board did not withdraw the fund during periodic checks in 2020.
The Council made monthly repayments instead of quarterly as required by the regulations in force.
Advances approved exceeded the N200,000 required by applicable regulations and in some cases approvals were as high as N500,000 in violation of applicable laws.
The Council failed to pay 1.16 million naira in the form of 1% stamp duty to the federation’s account.
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It issued 35 payment vouchers for N116.7 million to contractors between 2018 and 2019 for capital expenditure but failed to deduct stamp duty totaling N1.16 million.
The audit accused the Board of failing to deduct withholding tax and value added tax of more than N13 million from the N116.7 million it paid to contractors through 35 good.
According to the audit, the Council made irregular payments to the staff of its multi-purpose cooperative society to the tune of nearly 7.2 million naira in violation of the relevant laws.
In addition, the Council paid compensation to the principal officers of the College of Veterinary Surgeons, totaling N10.7 million without approval.
The audit revealed that there was no evidence of approval by the Minister and other relevant government agencies for these payments.
Another charge against the Council was the failure to remit N113.3 million of internally generated revenue to the Treasury.
The audit showed that the Council generated N140.6 million from January 2018 to December 2019, but paid only N27.3 million to the Treasury.
Similarly, the Council did not pay 80% of the operating surplus into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, as required by law. The unremitted amount was N36.1 million.
The audit indicated that the Council generated N122 million and incurred expenditure of N79.4 million.
The operating surplus was N45.1 million. The audit showed that the Council should have handed over N36.1 of the fund to the government.
Another issue for the Council by the audit was the non-recovery of government revenue from the rental of Council property, totaling N137.4 million.
The Council failed to pay out an additional N46 million of revenue it generated between April 2014 and May 2019 as rental income from the use of its office building.
“The above amount was generated through a first generation bank, and there is no evidence that the Council pays the amount generated to the CRF, as required by applicable regulations.”
The audit added that the Council had engaged in unauthorized expenditures from its internally generated revenue to the tune of N109.3 over the two years covered by the audit. There was no proof of credit to spend the fund.
In the meantime, the auditor demanded that the organization reimburse the government, among other directives.