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Senate Gives NECO 24 Hours To Show Payment Evidence For N7.2bn Exam Materials

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The management of the National Examination Council (NECO) has been given 24 hours to provide verifiable evidence of payment for examination materials worth N7.2 billion between January and June 2017.

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC) slammed the ultimatum on Wednesday at an investigative session with officials of the examination body.

Committee chairman, Senator Mathew Urhoghide said the order was hinged upon the report of the Auditor General of the Federation which indicted NECO of not proving payment made.

The said report alleged that examination materials in the sum of N7 2 billion were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store.

The query raised by the office of the Auditor-General and made available to newsmen reads ” Examination Materials in the sum of N7.2 billion were paid for between January and June 2017 without evidence of receipt of the items into the store.

” There was no evidence to confirm the receipt of the materials or their usage thereby contravening Financial Regulation 2402 which requires storekeeper to certify that stores purchased have been received and taken on store ledger charge in the store ledger.

” Inquiry to verify the true position of items revealed that a committee was in charge of the receipt and distribution of examination materials.

“However, despite the repeated request for documentary evidence in relation to the supply, the Committee failed to produce any document for verification.”

In his response, the Registrar of (NECO, Professor Godswill Obioma who was physically present at the investigative hearing said that NECO examination materials are sensitive items that are kept closely guarded in order to avoid leakages.

However, when the chairman of the Committee, Senator Urhoghide demanded the Store Receipt Vouchers (SRV) for the expenses of ‘sensitive materials’ to the examination for the year 2016, officials of NECO who appeared in the company of the Registrar were unable to present the receipt to the Committee to see.

Urhoghide however demanded that the NECO Registrar should provide the Receipts to the Committee within 24 hours or refund the N7.2 billion to the Federal government purse.

But Professor Obioma took exception to the penalty on the ground that he was not the Registrar as at the time of the spending.

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