Senate Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhohide has described as spurious allegations of financial impropriety against the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).
The Committee which cleared the Bureau of the allegations when the Director General of the Privatisation Agency, Mr. Alex A. Okoh appeared before the Committee during the week, said the OAuGF did not reconcile its records before going public to accuse BPE of financial misdemeanor.
Recall that the OAuGF had accused the Bureau of some financial infractions; especially the non-remittance of revenue on ports concessions in the sum of USD$679,403,172.00.
On the Ports Concession payments, the Director General informed the Committee that the Bureau was only a party to the concession as all revenues generated from the exercise were paid directly to the Landlord-Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). He Stated that the Bureau was never part of revenue collection during and after the concession, adding that the OAuGF arrived at the figures by merely looking at the contract documents and assuming the revenues were paid to the Bureau.
Okoh regretted that the allegations against the Bureau has put a smudge on the reputation and integrity of the Bureau and demanded a retraction and apology from the OAuGF.
After listening to the presentation by the DG, BPE and the inadequate response from the OAuGF, the Committee exonerated the Bureau from all the allegations.
The Committee, therefore, advised the OAuGF to always meet with relevant agencies for Post Audit Reconciliation before going public. It berated the OAuGF for not diligently carrying out its duties.
Ibeh Uzoma Chidi
Head, Public Communications
February 4, 2022.