Senate summons State House, others over N5tn vote

The Senate, on Wednesday, again summoned the Budget Office of the Federation, State House, and other agencies over the N5tn service wide votes disbursed to them.

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts said it had commenced the investigation of 252 government agencies that benefited from N5tn service wide votes between 2017 and 2021.

A service wide vote, also known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge, is the country’s contingency fund in the annual budget.

The decision of the Senate to investigate the votes was as a result of the discovery by the Senate that many agencies collected funds from SWV without notifying the National Assembly panels mandated by law to oversight the agencies.

The Chairman, Senate Public Account Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide,  said that the investigation had to do with the disbursement of service wide votes between 2017 and 2021, noting the votes had become a major component of the nation’s budget considering the amount budgeted annually for it in the budget.

He said the committee had to see how the money collected from votes was being expended because there was confusion on the approval of the votes.

He said, “We want to see how this money is being expended. There is confusion on approval, and we want to really get to know what is going on.

“Any agency who fails to appear, the committee will not hesitate to issue a warrant of arrest on the head of the agency because it has been discovered that many agencies collected this fund without informing the National Assembly committee saddled with the responsibility to overnight the agency.”

The chairman added that the committee would not tolerate the absence of Galaxy Backbone, Ministry of Interior, Budget Office of the Federation, State House, and NBET. They are scheduled to appear before the committee.

He added, “Sustainable Development Goals collected N180 billion from the votes, NBET collected N2.9 billion, and Ministry of Humanitarian received N445 billion from the Votes.”

Among the 252 Ministries, Departments and Agencies expected to appear in the ongoing Investigation of Service Wide Votes between 2017 till 2021 are: the Ministry of Information and Culture, Defence, NHIS, Police, Ministry of Power, Bank of Industry, Water Resources, National Assembly, Public Complaint Commission, Directorate of State Service and Presidential Amnesty Programme.

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