Senate to probe military board over alleged missing N44bn military pension

Sen. Bukola Saraki, Senate President

The Senate has begun an investigation of the alleged missing N44,986,516,357.43 from the Military Pensions Board.

The funds, according to the upper legislative chamber, were allocated to the board from the Service Wide Votes between 2013 and 2017.

This is coming as Kemi Adeosun, the Finance Minister, on Wednesday, May 3, 2018, disclosed how the implementation of the treasury single account, TSA, led to the recovery of the sum of N1.6 billion from an unidentified account in a commercial bank.

Speaking when authorities of the board appeared before the Senate Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, Matthew Urhoghide, the chairman of the panel, charged the board to submit the required documents to the committee on or before Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

He wondered why the board could not defend the releases despite receiving a correspondence from the panel since November 2017.

According to the lawmaker, rather than furnish the panel with relevant documents, the board supplied documents not relevant to the subject matter.

A representative of the office of the Accountant General of Federation gave the breakdown of the N44.9 billion Service Wide Vote released to the board to include: N13.5 billion for 2015, N16.6 billion for 2016 and N15. 422 billion for 2017.

He, however, said no funds were released to the board between 2013 and 2014.

Phillip Gyunka, a member of the committee, accused the board of negligence. “This report you submitted is so haphazard. Somebody somewhere is not doing his job,” he said.

Adekunle Adesope, the chairman of the board, denied receiving any communication from the committee.

Testifying before the Abubakar Nuhu Damburam led Committee probing into the level of implementation of the TSA policy of the Federal Government,  Adeosun explained that the feat was achieved by a consulting firm engaged by the Finance Ministry.

The minister spoke after both Damburam and a member of the committee,  Mr. Ashiru Aminu Mani wondered why her minister spent the sum of N540 million on consultants handling the TSA instead of relying on the office of Auditor General of the Federation, AGF, in line with provision of the law.

Read more at Vanguard

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