The House of Representatives has given the Industrial Training Fund till Tuesday to appear before its Committee on Finance to account for over N3bn traced to the account of the agency in the 2022 audited report of the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.
The committee warned the agency that if it failed to reconcile its account, ITF would refund the N3bn to the Federal Government coffers.
The chairman of the committee and member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Lagos State, James Faleke, gave the ultimatum when the Management of ITF appeared before the committee for the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper interactive session.
Faleke, on behalf of the committee, had queried the rationale behind the operating expenditure of N39.8bn in 2022 as against total revenue of N45.1bn generated by ITF, even though it had only a staff strength of 2,691 nationwide.
Fielding questions from committee members, ITF’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Safiya Mansur, said the agency sourced its revenue from a few companies out of about 128, 000 registered in the fund.
According to her, there are about 128,000 registered companies contributing employers to the ITF, out of which only 57,000 are up to date in their contributions.
To ensure compliance, Safiya noted that the ITF intensified monitoring of the defaulting companies, lamenting however that some of the companies took the agency to court, with the cases later resolved after the Committee of Finance in the 9th Assembly intervened.
However, Faleke while expressing displeasure at the variance in the figures in the books of ITF for 2022 and the Auditor General for the Federation’s audited report said, “Compared to what you have in your audited report, there is an issue. The audited report is saying N4.11bn capital expenditure and your own is saying N1.4bn. I think that we have given you enough time to explain. By tomorrow (Tuesday), if you don’t give us where the over N3bn is, you will be forced to return that money.”