Days after her public endorsement of former vice president Atiku Abubakar, a new audit report has been released which claims that Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, and some officials in her ministry, spent N12 million just for the inspection of some ghost project.
According to Premiumtimes, the 656-page audit report which emanated from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, states that payments totalling N11,700, 000 were made by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to enable Aisha Alhassan, and some officials in the ministry to embark on ‘familiarisation visits’ to unnamed skill acquisition centres in selected states in 2015. The report claims that part of the funds was spent on November 11, 2015, the day she assumed office as minister.
“Audit investigation established that the purported acclaimed appraisal visits to skill acquisition centres were never undertaken.”
Details of the report further show irregularities in payment processes, record keeping and dating of the said visits.
The audit committee observed that: ‘‘all the attached receipts for fuelling did not indicate quantity in litres, the rate per litre, dates of purchase and vehicle number of the fuelled vehicles. The International hotel receipt of 23/11/15 which was issued for the hiring of a mini-bus from a hotel to unnamed project sites rendered the receipts doubtful. Hiring of cars to Project Sites at ridiculous rates of between N75,000.00 and N77,000.00 for two days as appeared on receipts numbers 910 of 22/11/15, 107 of 24/11/15, 0416 of 27/11/15, 531 of 25/11/15, is contrary to exercise of the due economy in line with the provision of Financial Regulation 415. More worrisome is the date which appeared on some of the receipts.
Reports of the investigation by the audit committee revealed that part of the expenses for the verification visits was made on the day Mrs. Alhassan was sworn in. Receipt number 5206 of 11/11/2015, the date the Minister was sworn in by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and receipt number 11622 of 8th of November, 2015 with amount N100,000.00 respectively are not clear. The two receipts were for servicing of a vehicle two times within 3 days,’’ the report noted.
The minister who has however stated that she is not afraid to be sacked for her political position, has not reacted to this new development.