Senate gives NECO 24 hours to show payment of N7.2bn exam materials

The Senate through its Committee on Public Accounts has given the National Examination Council (NECO), 24 hours to show payment of N7.2 billion examination materials between January and June 2017.

The committee gave the ultimatum on the strength of report submitted to it to that effect by the Office of Auditor – General of the Federation.

The Auditor – General of the Federation had in the report, alleged that examination materials in the sum of N7. 2 billion were paid for by NECO between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store.

The query reads: “Examination Materials in the sum of N7.2 billion were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into store.

“There was no evidence to confirm the receipt of the materials or their usage thereby contravening Financial Regulation 2402 which requires store keeper to certify that stores purchased have been received and taken on store ledger charge in the store ledger.

“Inquiry to verify the true position of items revealed that a committee was in charge of the receipt and distribution of examination materials.

“However, despite the repeated request for documentary evidence in relation to the supply, the Committee failed to produce any document for verification.”

But, the Registrar of NECO, Professor Godswill Obioma, while responding to the query on Wednesday before the committee, claimed that NECO examination materials are sensitive items that are kept closely guarded in order to avoid leakages.

He was however unable to tender any receipts when the chairman of the committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), demanded Store Receipt Vouchers (SRV) for the expenses of ‘sensitive materials’ to the examination for the year 2016.

The NECO Registrar and other top officials of the Examination body only claimed to have the receipts without tendering any.

Irked by their failure, Urhoghide consequently directed the NECO boss to provide the receipts to the committee within 24 hours or refund the N7.2 billion to the federal government purse.

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