The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee is set to probe 256 Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies that overshot their overhead budgetary provision for the year 2020 totalling the sum of N284.3bn.

The Bamidele Salam-led Committee arrived at the resolution during an interaction in Abuja on Friday with the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, and the Auditor General of the Federation, Shaakaa Chira, against the backdrop of the AuGF Report on the over 800 MDAs for the year ending December 31, 2020.

In his remarks at the event, Salam noted that if the allegations of budgetary overspending were established as contained in the Auditor General report, the same would amount to gross infraction which may require a refund.

Responding to issues raised, Mrs Madein said, “From my experience, MDAs do come forward because the extra-budgetary provisions mostly come from accessing funds from service wide vote. When MDAs access funds from SWV, it will not come into the budget of that MDAs. These are normally what formed the extra-budgetary spending.

“Probably, they have some activities that were not included in the budget. They then move  to the Ministry of Finance or even up to the presidency to approve access to such funds. Most times, this formed the basis of extra-budgetary expenditure.”

This did not go down well with the members of the Committee who argued that funds accessed from the SWV or any source outside budgetary allocation must first be appropriated by Parliament before disbursement.

Salam thereafter urged the executive arm of government to expedite action on the full compilation of assets belonging to the Federal Government to make it easier for the use of potential foreign investors

Chira, in response to question on the effects of late submission of Audited Reports by the MDAs, faulted the practice.

He therefore advised the concerned MDAs to perfect their acts in ensuring timely preparation and presentation of their audited reports, adding that an up-to-date audited report of any nation depicts its financial discipline and readiness to do business with other countries in line with global best practice.

In the report by the Auditor General for the Federation, titled “Highlights of The Auditor General For The Federation Annual Report For The Year Ended 31ST December 2020,” revealed 23 cross-outing issues.

Reacting to the report of the Auditor General, the Accountant General of the Federation said, “The report on the consolidated financial statement of 2020 audit report had just been presented and various issues have been identified to have been found in the financial statement so prepared and presented.

“All the issues have been listed and they are all about non-compliance with the standards surrounding the preparation of the financial statement while some are on the report of the MDAs as submitted and consolidated.

“The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is responsible for collating and consolidating financial statements as submitted by MDAs and I want to bring it to the attention of this Honorable Committee that the adoption of the International Public Accounting Standards was formerly done in 2016 but its implementation slow down because of series of issues.

“When I read about the negative net asset aspect of the report, the way I understand it is that in this report, we have our negative net asset as N33.3tn while the total asset is N10.1tn and total liabilities are N43.4tn. This is what resulted in the negative net asset of N33.3tn.