The Auditor-General of the Nigerian Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura said today that the Constitution did not empower his office to conduct forensic audit on the accounts of the NNPC.
Ukura made the shocking statement at the public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Finance investigating the alleged unremitted funds by the NNPC into the federation accounts.
The chairman of the Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi had asked Ukura whether his office planned to carry out a forensic audit on the NNPC accounts going by the allegations of uremitted funds. Ukura said the Constitution forbids his office from carrying out forensic audit of a statutory public corporations or commission.
According to him, the Constitution only empowered him to carry out periodic check on the accounts of statutory public corporations, commissions and agencies.
“Section 85 (2) of the constitution forbids the Auditor-General of the Federation from appointing auditors to carry out forensic audit. My staff are there (NNPC) to do period check. Out the 20 staff, 19 are chartered accountants while one is ANAN certified. We have the capacity based on our resources. The team was trained by a team of charted accountants and we will provide the checklist.
“We are looking at both the revenue generated and the expenditure of the NNPC. We would provide you the checklist. The committee has the right to ask me to do what it wants me to do and it will be done,” he said
The Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), and the NNPC appeared before the Committee.
The Committee directed the agencies to submit written details of all their financial transactions from Aug. 2013 to Dec. 2013.
Makarfi said that the senate had approved the appointment of a consultant to work with the Committee while the executive was free to conduct its forensic audit