Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and her predecessor Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, have been summoned to appear before the House of Representatives N1.7 trillion appropriated for the implementation of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) from 2016 to September 2019.
Kemi Adeosun, Former Finance Minister.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq is also expected to appear, alongside everyone involved in the implementation of the programme, ranging from desk staff to incumbent and past permanent secretaries.
Honourable Wole Oke, who is the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts was the one who issued the summon during the investigative hearing into the audit queries on the financial activities of the NSIPs.
He also frowned on the misleading information made on the NSIP bank account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the Special Assistant to the President on Home School Feeding Programme, Mr. Dotun Adebayo and other desk officers.
According to Prince Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, out of the
N1.7 trillion that was appropriated for the four-year period, the sum of N619.142 billion was released, with the sum of N560.914 billion utilised, leaving the balance of N58.227 billion which was handed over to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
However, according to data made available by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, N32.088 billion was released for Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), N20.588 billion for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); N149.965 billion for Home grown School Feeding; N355.846 billion released for Job Creation Unit and N2.428 billion for Social Investment Programme (General) for the four-year period.
Agba added that: “Prior to the handing over to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, requests for payments for all types of expenditures in respect of any of the programmes of NSIP emanated from the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), situated under the office of the Vice President.
“Requests for payments from the NSIO office were signed by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social investment. Funds for the programmes are domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria.” Oke, who expressed displeasure over the failure of all the desk officers to provide the procurement record.”
Oke replied, “You’ve given us records of N-Power, nobody is arguing with you. We can see the names of beneficiaries of N-Power, nobody is making noise about it. We can feel the N-Power beneficiaries in various local governments and constituencies, nobody is asking you questions bout it.”
“But Dotun claimed that Auditor General said they spent N191 billion and we are asking him to retire same. Give us records of what you did with N191 billion. Whom did you pay to? That is the question” Responding, the Minister, who noted that he has nothing to hide, said he was not around between 2016 and 2017 and urged all parties involved in the implementation of the NSIPs together.”
Oke ruled on the summon and charged the committee members to as from Monday, travel to their respective states and constituencies to verify the records of all NSIP beneficiaries and report for further investigation.