The government of President Muhammadu Buhari under the aegis of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) paid 762,730,000 naira to 13,160 beneficiaries, but was unable to produce the names and addresses of the people. .
The 2018 government audit report, obtained by SaharaReporters, found that SMEDAN, which disbursed the grants, did not document “the names of micro-enterprises, physical addresses, phone numbers, emails and key resource persons ”.
SaharaReporters has learned that the 762 million naira has been disbursed under the conditional grants program for the growth of micro and small businesses in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
SaharaReporters concluded that the beneficiary states were Benue, Katsina, Gombe, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Oyo.
SMEDAN authorities in the 2018 Auditor General’s audit report on the Nigeria Federation’s accounts report, stated that 13,160 selected micro-enterprises in the six pilot states had benefited from the grants.
The government audit report noted that SMEDAN, however, was unable to produce the names of the companies to which it disbursed the funds, while asking the managing director to account for the 762 million naira grants and recover. the same to the federal government treasury.
The audit report reads in part: “Unsupported conditional grant payment to microenterprises – N762,730,000; the provision of Financial Regulation 603 states that “All vouchers must contain full details of each service, such as dates, numbers, quantities, distances and tariffs, so as to allow their verification without reference to other documents and will invariably be supported the relevant documents such as local purchase orders, invoices, special authorization letters, timesheets, etc.
“We observed during the audit that a sum of 762,730,000.00 naira was paid through various financial institutions to the beneficiaries of the conditional grants program for the growth of micro and small enterprises in the six geopolitical areas.
“However, vital information such as microenterprise names, physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and key contacts has not been made available for verification, in violation of laws and regulations. in force.
“This violation was due to the Director General’s failure to comply with the laws and regulations in force, particularly with regard to the provision of vital information and the attachment of key supporting documents to the payment receipts.
“The risk is that the agency could incur expenses without providing vital information and supporting documents, thus exposing the government to the possibility of fraud and ultimately loss of funds.”
SaharaReporters was informed that when the audit service contacted SMEDAN, it hastily provided only the list of beneficiaries in Akwa Ibom State, but “the attachment made for Akwa Ibom did not contain the amounts paid to each of the beneficiaries and their signatures showing the completion of the transaction. . Their response therefore did not adequately address the audit issue raised.
The report further states: “The Director General is required to provide a complete list of beneficiaries containing their location in the six pilot states, ie names, amount disbursed, contact addresses, contact numbers. phone, e-mail addresses and signatures showing proof of collection of this fund to the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. Otherwise, he will have to account for the sum of 762,730,000.00 N allegedly paid to financial institutions on behalf of the beneficiaries.