Reps probe utilisation of N25bn Refugee Commission Budget

House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has kicked against the inability of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMIDP) to provide relevant documents on the utilisation of N25 billion budgeted for the commission between 2015 and 2019 fiscal years.

Hon Wole Oke who is the Chairman of the Committee while presiding over the investigative hearing into the 2015 to 2019 audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), maintained that there is need to carry out investigation into the efficiency of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with a view to stopping the menace of ghost workers in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

In the documents presented by the Commission to the Committee at the public hearing, from the total sum of N28.959 billion appropriated between 2015 to 2019, the sum of N1.894 billion was released for personnel cost; N433.218 million for overhead cost while N23.923 billion was approved for capital expenditure.

Out of the amount, the sum of N22.369 billion was released out of which N14.735 billion was for capital expenditure.

As stipulated in the document, the sum of N2.583 billion was released in 2015; N1.462 billion in 2016; N2.346 billion in 2017; N1.058 in 2018 and N1.370 billion in 2019 for the implementation of various Zonal Intervention Projects respectively.

He, however, informed the Committee that an additional N100 million was released from the Service Wide Vote (SWV) to the Commission in 2017.

Hon. Oke had earlier demanded for details of all the capital projects frowned at the inconsistencies observed in the documents presented to the Committee.

While reacting to the presentation by the DFA, Hon. Oke said: “he is out to defend the expenditure of N25 billion; that is the task before us now. What did you do with N25 billion?

According to him, ” Yes, you could make payment to x, y, z, which is reflected in the bank statement but what is the consideration; what is the purpose of the payment?

“If the bank tells you debit and credit, you pay x, y, z, yes; inflow from Federal Government, from the office of the Accountant General release based on the budget provisions then outflow – expenditure

” So our question is, what was the consideration, what did you pay for. Auditor General what is the consideration? That’s what you have to defend, and it’s very simple

I”’m only summarising so that we can take a position so that the whole world can understand where we are. You’ve given us your record even with all the inaccuracies which are human error,”.

When asked about the compilation of the document, Head of Planning, Research and Documentation, Mrs Ama Edet, stated that ” the accounting jois to give me the details then I just compile it and put it in the form that it is. So I don’t know anything about the money on the compilation. I don’t know.”

While stressing the need to improve on the system, Hon. Oke affirmed that: “the presentation is not proper, it is not in order.

According to him, “the presentation before us, ordinarily I would have dropped everything on the doorstep of the National Commissioner but he’s just coming on board, and you, his lieutenants you have not done well

“You have not done well at all, simple arithmetic accuracy that a Primary 6 student even let’s say SSS 3 student will take his calculator and add together is what we are grappling with here! If we agree, we simply return this document and ask that the document should go and be tidied up”

“Please go back and tidy it up properly. The Director of Planning said she’s not an accountant, I don’t expect that statement from you,” Hon. Oke noted.

To this end, the Committee resolved to accede to the Federal Commissioner’s request for a week ultimatum to re-present the document.

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