Reps Query Council Over Alleged N58m Illegal Account

On 18/Oct/2016 / In Medical News

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has queried the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) for operating an official account alleged to have contained N58.19 million at a point in time with the name of one of its members of staff. 
 
The account, according to the committee, was opened in 2009 and is being operated in turns with the name of every of the council's director of finance. The office of Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF) that petitioned the committee over the matter also accused the council of facilitating a foreign trip comprising eight of its personnel in 2012 without authorisation from the Head of Service, as well as failing to account for the expenditures that were made in the journey. 
 
But in his defence, Acting Registrar of the VCN, Dr. Josiah Kiatyiok, said the Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1969 as amended (1987) empowered the council to participate in activities that have bearings with its operations. 
 
He claimed that the decision was taken with the support of its parent Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 
 
On the operation of the account, Kiatyiok said the actual amount as at 2013 was N53 million and not the one that had been quoted by the AGE He explained that the VCN derived powers to do so from e-payment policy and financial circulars of government with the understanding that accountability would be achieved if council mem-bers' allowances were domiciled in a single operations account.
 
He could not, however, cite relevant sections of the laws, which the council claimed to have derived powers from. 
 
Besides, the AGF also accused the council of inability to account for N10. 274 million out of N18. 242 million paid to 10 of its members of staff for Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) with-in the year under review.
 
The deputy chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Mohammed Baba, who presided over the investigative hearing, urged the council representatives to return on the next date that would be agreed by all parties with proofs of approvals for the trip and profiles of the expenditures. 
 
By: From Otei Oham, Abuja
The Guardian News

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