The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has said that it acted with prudence, accountability and probity in the payment of N273 billion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
In a statement made available to journalists on Sunday by Director, Press and Public Relations in the AGF’s office, Henshaw Ogubike, in reaction to a report by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), a non governmental organisation (NGO).
According to him, the OAGF can only pay monies after concerned MDAs have uploaded to the Open Treasury Portal necessary information before their accounts are credited.
“The attention of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has been drawn to a report made by an NGO, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) to the effect that OAGF made payments of N173 billion without proper records and that the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) will face prosecution for this.
“We wish to strongly refute this allegation and provide necessary clarification on the issue.
“According to the report, these payments were analyzed from the data obtainable from the Open Treasury Portal of which it further stated that this payments totalling 1,353 were made between the period of January to April, 2020 to various Ministries, Parastatals, Agencies and Educational Institutions.
“To put the records straight, it is important to emphasize the fact that the Open Treasury Portal which was launched by Mr. President on 9th December, 2019 was specifically done to enhance transparency through the daily uploading of payments on the Treasury Portal of amount in excess of N5 million by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). This is the highest degree of transparency which had ever been implemented in this country.
“This daily payment reports do indicate the beneficiary, purpose of payment and the amount by the respective MDAs. It is the responsibility of every MDA to give very clear and unambiguous description to these payments which are in turn electronically consolidated and uploaded on the Open Treasury Portal.
“These payments being referred to by the NGO that had been uploaded on the platform had correct classifications in the appropriate accounting and expenditure subhead from which consolidated financial statements, at the end of the year are audited by the Auditor-General for the Federation. Any observation on such transactions are always put together by the Auditor-General for the Federation and submitted to the Public Accounts’ Committee of the National Assembly which in turn calls on the respective Accounting Officer of the MDAs to come and defend or respond to such issues and observations.
“The Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) that is presently in operation has clearly provided for sub-modules in which necessary descriptions relating to such expenditures are entered,” the statement read.
Ogubike further explained that MDAs are responsible for every transaction and report uploaded to the portal.
He said: “The Open Treasury Portal also provides online, real-time interaction with the general public to give clarifications to issues emanating from the uploaded transactions. The general public should note this and utilize this facility.”
He therefore adviced Nigerians to disregard the misinformation by (HEDA) as the OAGF will continue to ensure prudence, transparency and probity in all financial transactions and management.