COVID-19 Probe: Reps C’ttee Give 2 Agencies 7 -Day to Answer Query

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By Lateef Taiwo

The Public Accounts Committee, PAC, of the House of Representatives has given the Auditor General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Health One Week notice to respond to queries issued on them.

Again, the committee also direct the Federal Fire Service, FFS, to refund a whooping sum of N1.484 billion within Seven days to the covers of the Federal Government.

The fund according the lawmakers were meant for Covid 19 intervention funds that the agency received to cushion the effect of empidemic but failed to use for the purpose it was given.

The Chairman of the Commitee, Hon. Bamidele Salam while given the directive urged the agencies to comply within the stipulated period.

The Lawmaker further explained that since the Service could not appear to explain what how the money was spent, it very necessary for it to refund it to the coffers of the government.

The lawmakers equally stressed that the Federal Fire Service must make the refund of the sum of N1.484 billion it collected as COVID-19 intervention fund in 2020/2021, and submit evidence of the refund within Seven days while the other affected agencies would be invited once for the last chance to make appearance

Again, the committee also issued fresh invitations to other defaulting Ministries Departments and Agencies MDAs, of the federal government to appeare and explain various queries standing against them from the office of the Auditor General of the Federatiom on several billions of Naira allocated to them during COVID-19 as intervention funds

According to the him, “A public officer who fails to respond to the Auditor-General’s query satisfactorily within 21 days for failure to collect Government Revenue due shall be surcharged and be transferred to another schedule. Where an officer fails to give a satisfactory reply to an audit query within 7 days for his failure to account for government revenue, such officer shall be surcharged for the full amount involved and such officers handed over to either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)”

He stated that his committee would afford the National Centre for Disease Control (N5 billion), Ministry of Agriculture (N63.8 billion), Ministry of Women Affairs through the Centre for Women Development (N1.25 billion), Ministry of Health (N53 billion), and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (N33 billion) another opportunity to present before the committee regarding the allocation of Covid-19 funds.

“This Committee have a lot of assignments before it. The COVID-19 probe is just one, we have to move to other assignments”,


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