The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) has put the current and past management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) under scrutiny.
The committee said it discovered that the fund’s management failed to produce relevant documents to justify alleged spending of N17.158 billion in 2013.
Some of the documents to back the expenses were said to have been eaten up by termites. The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF), in its 2018 audit report – now being considered by the Senate panel chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South) – had queried the agency over the disbursed sums without appropriate supporting documents.
In his report, the AuGF said the N17.158 billion represented the total sum of money, transferred by the agency from its Skye and First Bank accounts, into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies between January and December 2013.
The OAuGF had, in its 2018 audit report, raised 50 different queries bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds against the agency. The AuGF’s query reads in part: “Management of NSITF, as shown in statements of account number 1750011691 with Skye Bank Plc, for the period 1st January, 2013 to 20th December, 2013, and statements of account number 2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period January 7, 2013 to February 28, 2013, transferred amounts totalling N17,158,883,034.69 to some persons and companies from these accounts.
However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.
But the current NSITF Managing Director, Dr. Michael Akabogu, was said to have claimed that no such documents were in the organisation’s custody. The container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beaten by rains over the years but even possibly been eaten up by termites.”