Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun has directed an investigation into the payrolls of the Air Force, the Navy and the Army by the Continuous Audit Team of the Federal Government, a fallout of recent revelations allegedly implicating the military in illegal fund diversions.
The finance ministry said on Thursday that Adeosun’s directive followed “revelations in the course of the trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the sum of N558.2 million was allegedly diverted monthly from the Nigeria Air Force account into private pockets.”
Already, Continuous Audit team has been charged with the responsibility of scrutinizing the payrolls of the three services, which have not yet been put on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), to ensure that all possible loopholes that could lead to leakages were blocked, the ministry said.
Adeosun said the Director of Special Projects in the Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, will head the Continuous Audit Team and report their findings for appropriate action by the Federal Government.
The exercise will be conducted pending the biometric capturing and migrating the payroll of the three services to the IPPIS, in line with the policy of the Federal Government to clean up the payroll of all public sector employees.
The Finance ministry said that the measure has become necessary as part of the change mantra of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which include the restoration of the culture of transparency, accountability and control in the management of public funds.
“The Continuous Audit Process was one of the initiatives of the Minister approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the on-going reforms in the public finance management system of the federal government, which he emphasised in his 2016 Budget speech,” Salisu Na’Inna Dambata, Director, Information at the ministry of finance noted in a statement.