A report by the Auditor-Generals office has revealed that the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, and some other officials of the ministry spent a total of N11.7 million on familiarisation visits in 2015.
In a report by Premium Times, the "acclaimed appraisal visits to skill acquisition centres were never undertaken" by the minister and ministry officials.
The audit report contains observations made on the underlying accounting records of federal ministries, departments and other agencies of government.
The audit of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development shows irregularities in payment processes, record keeping, as well as dating of the purported visits.
According to the report, "All the attached receipts for fuelling did not indicate quantity in litres, the rate per litre, dates of purchase and vehicle number of the fuelled vehicles.
"The International hotel receipt of 23/11/15 which was issued for the hiring of a mini-bus from a hotel to unnamed project sites rendered the receipts doubtful.
"Hiring of cars to Project Sites at ridiculous rates of between N75,000.00 and N77,000.00 for two days as appeared on receipts numbers 910 of 22/11/15, 107 of 24/11/15, 0416 of 27/11/15, 531 of 25/11/15, is contrary to exercise of the due economy in line with the provision of Financial Regulation 415."
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The report also made the discovery that some of the N11.7 million was spent on November 11, 2015, the day the minister was officially sworn-in.
The audit committee noted, "Receipt number 5206 of 11/11/2015, the date the Minister was sworn in by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and receipt number 11622 of 8th of November, 2015 with amount N100,000.00 respectively are not clear. The two receipts were for servicing of a vehicle two times within 3 days."
In light of the questionable disbursement of the amount in question, the Auditor-General, Anthony Ayine, has ordered the ministry to refund it to the federation account.
Alhassan has been under intense scrutiny this week after she publicly backed former Vice President as the future president of the country in 2019.
While many people have criticised her public stance and called for her to be sacked, she doubled down on her comments in an interview with BBC Hausa, stating that she would support Atiku over President Muhammadu Buhari if both men contest in the presidential election in two years time.