House Summons Top Govt Functionaries Over Withdrawal Of N59.6 Billion Service Wide Vote
The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives has summoned top government functionaries to render account of N59.6 billion allegedly withdrawn from the Service Wide Vote in 2006 without recourse to the National Assembly.
Those summoned include: the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Sarah Alade.
The money was supposedly spent on the payment of subsidy claims due to the NNPC.
The NNPC, the Budget Office and the CBN have been engaged in bulk passing over the matter each time they appear before the committee.
While the budget office claims that the money was released from the service wide vote, the NNPC denies receiving any such funds.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, demanded for all documents linked with the transaction to be presented to the committee on Wednesday.
He said, “If there was any mandate on the said missing N59.6bn, it will show at a glance.
“We are tired of all the excuses of all the agencies involved, claiming ignorant at one stage or the other.”
The NNPC’s General Manager in charge of Accounts, Mr. Sambo Aliyu, tendered a letter he said was written by the budget office, indicating that the corporation was paid the money.
He told the committee that the budget office wrote the letter in response to a request by the corporation asking it to confirm whether the money was paid.
Olamilekan asked whether the money was indeed paid to the NNPC as indicated in the letter, Aliyu replied, “The cash was not released, we did not see any money. ”
The representative of the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, also responded in a similar fashion when he commented on the issue.
He said, “We will need to get the mandates from the AGF.”
The comments of the two officials elicited anger from committee members who observed that government agencies were “taking the House for a ride.”
The committee summoned all the agencies for the fourth time to appear over the N59.6bn on Wednesday.
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