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Financial leakages: N9.7 billion meant for 32 projects missing – CSO alledges

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The Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) a Civil organisation for fostering public accountability in Nigeria has alleged that N9.7 billion is yet to be accounted for according to data from 2017 Audit Report.

The organisation stated that 32 projects worth N17bn meant for implementation in 17 states of the federation including the federal capital territory (FCT) were awarded to various contractors, about N9.7bn is not accounted for, adding that the unaccounted funds when compared to similar publication on 2016 Audit Report of the federation showed an increase of N6.8bn (70.1%), an indication that accountability in the public funds in Nigeria is getting worse.

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The executive director of PLSI, Olusegun Elemo said this yesterday at the stakeholders’ sensitization workshop on 2017 Audit Report of the federation of Nigeria in Abuja.

He said that the Nigeria must commit to ensuring that public funds are not just spent but also properly account for.

“Do you aware that president Buhari laid before the National Assembly last Thursday the 2021 budget estimate of more than N13tn and nobody is asking the big question of how do we ensure that this huge funds is efficiently, effectively and economically utilized? What junction do we have to continue to spend without adequate audit mechanism?

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“The foundation of all our problems today is lack of accountability.

“What young people are protesting about today is not just the failure of policing system or SARS but education or health care, no efficient transportation system and all these and many other challenges are due to the lack of accountability in the utilization of public resources,” he noted.

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Olusegun further stated that the office of the Auditor General For the Federation needs to be empowered so that it can effectively play the role of ensuring that public funds begin to work for citizens particularly the young people.

He however noted that as the Auditor General nears his retirement age prescribed by the law by the end of October 2020, it it imperative to state that such crucial office should be tenure based as best practices requires rather one limited by age.

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