The Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, has said that about 428 government agencies will not be able to pay salaries by end of November.
He stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Account on Tuesday.
Akabueze was summoned to explain why the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) had been poorly funded over the years.
Responding, Akabueze explained that the budget office was constrained by the template handed over to them by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Besides, the DG said there was financial constraint due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the Federal Government was looking for money to pay salaries.
According to him, 428 agencies will not be able to pay salary by the end of November, so there would be the need to augment from the Service Wide Vote.
He said since his emergence as the Director General of Budget office there had been an improvement in the budget of Office of Auditor General of the Federation.
He added that it would be illogical to have embarked on recruitment for the oAuGF during the COVID-19 pandemic while government was looking for money for health interventions.
He said the sectors that did not shut down recruitment during the Covid-19 were health and security sector .
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, had lamented that poor funding of the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) was fueling corruption because it was programmed to fall short of expectations.
He noted that while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) were getting huge budgets, the AuGF meant to audit over 600 agencies was poorly funded.
Urhoghide said, “The proposed budget of N4.6 billion may not be adequate for the audit of the sum of N13 trillion in the year 2021 being total budget proposal of the Federal government of Nigeria.
“The office of the Auditor General for the federation is in need of replacing 247 retired staff which has not been provided for in the budget proposal.
“The promotion and annual increment of staff are also not factored into the year 2021 budget. There is need to digitalized and automate the system of the specialized Audit which was also was proposed for in the year 2021 budget proposal for the office.
“It is an irony that while the Office (AuGF), which is constitutionally established to ensure transparency in the management of public funds of the Federation is having a reduced allocation, similar agencies established to achieve a fraction of this objective are being well funded through incremental budgetary allocations.”
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