Tales of fraud in Nigeria may be a never-ending story with most government officials now openly engaging in daylight pilfering of taxpayer’s funds as the country’s economy continues to wobble.
This is evident in the actions of the erstwhile Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Muhammad Ahmad, who is in a clear breach of Circular Law and Financial Regulations, doled out payments amounting to N998,843,456 (Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Six Naira) without evidence supporting such payments.
According to Audit reports from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, it was observed that the Commission made payments for Estacode and Air Fare totaling N26,786,101 (Twenty-Six Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, One Hundred and One Naira) on three payment vouchers with Voucher Nos. NBC/CAP/ADV/078/18, NBC/CAP/ADV/079/18, and NBC/CAP/OC/105/18, for the attendance of 33rd meeting of the Nigeria-Cameroun Mixed Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroun, between 3rd and 14th June 2018 despite restrictions on foreign training and international travels by Public Servants as contained in the Establishment Circular Ref. No: HCSF/CSO/HRM/Pol. 1402/1 dated 22nd January 2015.
Findings further revealed that important documents such as the Letter of invitation to the Commission to attend the meeting, approval for the trip by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as the case may be in line with guidelines, were not attached to any of the payments vouchers. Evidence of travel such as immigration stamped pages on their international passports with air tickets or boarding-pass were also not provided.
About $2000 (Two Thousand United States Dollars) earmarked for contingency was also not accounted for, which further explains that the meeting may have only existed in imagination and allegedly used as a means to channel government funds to private coffers.
Similarly, it was uncovered that the Commission on 9th May 2018, made payments of Estacode allowance and Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) on activities within Nigeria totaling N12,057,355 (Twelve Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira) via payment voucher number NBC/CAP/OC/106/18 for the reconstruction of pillars at Nigeria-Niger International Boundary.
In another fraudulent move, the officers that traveled for the program we learned were engaged to work for 15 days while the local guide and security personnel were paid for 40 days each, with no evidence of money paid to officers representing the State and Local government amounting to N960,000,000 (Nine Hundred and Sixty Million Naira) provided.