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REVEALED: ₦1.3b was paid in Excess to Board Members as Imprest by NDDC in Violation of FG Regulations

By Technocrat Media

ABUJA – The management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) illegally paid a sum of ₦1,358,300,000.00 in excess as imprest to the executive board members of the Commission in five years.

A report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the activities of the Commission from January 2013 to June 2018 indicated that this huge sum was expended on illegal imprest paid to the board members. The area of coverage and summary of work done by the auditors showed the review of payments of imprest to the executive board members which ascertained the extent of compliance with the Financial Regulations and Annual Federal Treasury Circular Number: TRY/A2&B2/2009/OAGF/CAD/026/V of 24th March 2009 which provides:

the limit of reimbursable imprest as follows: honorable minister not exceeding ₦300,000.00, permanent secretary and director general not exceeding ₦200,000.00, directors/ head of department at ₦100,000.00 respectively. And that all accounting officers should “ensure all local procurement of stores and services costing above ₦200,000.00 shall be made only through the award of contracts”.

Financial Regulations and Annual Federal Treasury Circular

The findings in the report further revealed that the sum of ₦836,900,000.00 and ₦521,400,000.00 was purportedly paid as imprest for the offices of Managing Director/Chief executive officer (via Nseobot Inyang Willie) as that of the Executive Director finance and administration was paid via (Nwikpuinee Nwiluka Luccasson) while that of the Executive Director Project (via Sonni Efe Efurhievwe) for the period of January to December 2017 and January to June 2018 respectively. It was also observed that the said imprest was purportedly used for the procurement of goods and services, payments of accommodations, and payments of security allowances in excess of the approved limit for imprest.

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The cost of corruption involved in this act include; imprest are being paid over and above the stipulated amount by the law and financial regulations of the federal government, circumventing authorized procurement process and high possibility of funds not properly accounted for by the managers of the Commission.

The Auditor-General recommended that the management should ensure appropriate retirement of the sum of ₦1,358,300.00 and evidence of such retirement forwarded to the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation for verification, otherwise the money should be recovered in full.

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