By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE Senate has queried the issue of N110.4 million allegedly collected by ghost workers, which is presently rocking the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB.
The allegation of the ghost workers paid about N110.4 million was raised by the Senator Matthew Urhoghide-led Committee on Public Accounts.
Senator Urhoghide represents Edo South on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Senate Committee is relying on the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, OAuGF, submitted to it for investigation.
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According to the report, the AGF, Anthony Ayine said in the query that 66 persons were removed from payroll before the end of 2013 and these persons were on the payroll between one month to 23 months period and have collected about N110.4 million as emoluments.
The AGF stressed that no evidence to showed that these officers were presumably resigned their appointment or absconded.
The query read: “Examination of the records of the Board revealed that in 2012 and 2013, 70 and 65 employees, respectively, were found on the payroll but not on the nominal roll.
“The request for the personal files of the affected employees for verification of their status was not granted.
“The Registrar/Chief Executive was requested to forward the personal files of the employees for verification in order to authenticate them as bona fide staff of the board.
“However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not provide the documents requested.
“It was also observed that 66 persons were removed from the payroll before the end of 2013.
“These persons were in the payroll for between one month and 23 months each, during which period they received emoluments totalling N110,481,985.00.
“No evidence was shown that these officers who presumably resigned their appointments or absconded, were legitimate employees of the board and that they gave or paid one month salary in lieu of notice before they left the employment of the board.
“The Registrar/Chief Executive was requested to account for the total emoluments paid to these officers in the sum of N110,481,985.00.
“However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not address the query satisfactorily.”
The AGF also said that the former JAMB boss has to account for the N1.1m tax not deducted from the payments made in respect of consultancy services.
The report read, “Tax liability amounting to N1.164,550.59 was not deducted from two payments for consultancy services to a single vendor on payment voucher numbers 6407 of 2/11/13 and 6833 of 26/3/2013 for N13, 074,790.00 and N10,216,221.75 respectively.
“The board deducted Withholding tax at the rate of 5 per cent instead of 10 per cent, resulting in loss of government revenue.
“The Registrar/Chef Executive was requested to recover the amount of N1,164,216,221.75 and pay to the Federal Inland Revenue Service with evidence of payment forwarded to my office.
“However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not address the issue satisfactorily.
“Examination of the board audited accounts revealed 11 bank accounts operated in 2012 and 2013 but the bank statements, as well as cash books, were not presented for audit examination, despite repeated demands for them.
“This is contrary to financial regulation 110 which provides that the Auditor General and the Accountant General or their representatives shall at all reasonable times, have free access to books of account., files , safes, security documents and other records and information relating to the accounts of all federal ministries,/extra ministerial offices and other arms of government.”