October 26, 2021

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Niger Delta ministry officials sold N90m vehicles for N2m – Audit report

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs sold six vehicles worth N90 million at a “ridiculous sum” of N2.1 million less than a year after their purchase, an audit report has revealed.

The Auditor-General of the Federation, in a 2015 report, said the vehicles were purchased in June and August, 2014, and sold in May, 2015. It was, however, silent on the identities of those who bought the vehicles.

The audit report was submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts which is probing the finances of government agencies from 2015 to 2018.

The report reads in part: “The ministry disposed a total of 22 vehicles to various beneficiaries in May, 2015, and realised a total sum of N5.2 million.

“Out of the 22 vehicles, eight were purchased on 23rd June and 18th August, 2014, at a total cost of N106.5 million and duly paid for.

“Less than one year after acquisition, six vehicles costing N90.8 million were sold at a ridiculous sum of N2.1 million.”

But the ministry, in a written response to the audit query, said the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing was invited to evaluate the vehicles before they were sold.

The senate committee, after investigating the 2015 audit report, said the evaluation report of the Federal Ministry of Works did not include the newly purchased vehicles.

The panel’s Chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, violated the provision of financial regulations.

The committee recommended that the sum of N61.4 million, being the under-stated disposable value of the vehicles, be recovered and paid into the treasury.

It also demanded that the accounting officer in the ministry be sanctioned in accordance with Financial Regulations and Public Service Rule for gross misconduct.