Home Sectors BUSINESS & ECONOMY House Of Reps Probe MDAs Over Illegal N600bn Spending

House Of Reps Probe MDAs Over Illegal N600bn Spending

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has launched a full-scale inquiry into 115 federal government ministries, divisions, and organizations for exceeding their allotted budgets on wages and allowances by nearly N600 billion.

The sum was spent between 2018 and 2022, according to the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation, which lodged an enquiry on the illicit spending.

The audit query read, ‘Audit observed that 203 MDAs exceeded their Personnel Cost budget by N641,757,455,172. While 115 MDAs had zero Personnel Cost, even though there was budget allocation for them, the sources of extra funds for salaries and wages in 103 were not disclosed.

Also, the reasons for zero Personnel budget allocation for the 115 MDAs were not stated despite the fact that the MDAs under defence had annual budgets approved for them.”

The OAuGF urged the Federation’s Office of the Accountant General to investigate the sources of the extra-budgetary expenditures and the reasons for non-compliance with financial laws.

The office warned that if the sources and justifications for the N641.75 billion in expenditures were not justified, “the officers in command should be held financially liable.”

Sylva Okolieaboh, the Federation’s acting Accountant General, told the committee that some of the expenditures were made in accordance with existing circulars and guidelines.

Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, however, said, “This is an aberration of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is clear rape of Financial Regulation and Public Procurement Act.

“Nobody has the power to appropriate any money to any MDAs except the National Assembly, through the budget from Mr President. Before the passage of Mr President’s Appropriation Bill, it has to pass through stages, and after the passage, it has to be returned to the Mr President for his assent.

“But we have discovered a situation where some ministers and heads of MDAs are fond of appropriating funds and approving several millions of naira for spending without such coming to the parliament, but relying on circulars and directives. This is illegal and we are going to stop it.”

As a result, Oke asked the Accountant General of the Federation to provide the committee with a list of the 115 MDAs implicated in the flagged expenditures by Wednesday morning, when the inquiry would resume. In the interest of fairness, the chairman stated that the erring MDAs will be called to clarify the accusation against them in the audit enquiry.

Earlier, Okolieaboh expressed gratitude to the house for the cooperation offered to his office since his appointment, while promising that any invitations from MPs would be promptly responded to in the national interest.

NO COMMENTS

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

Exit mobile version