2020 budget: Reps query PTAD over N4.2bn drawn from Service Wide Vote

•Summon Executive Secretary to appear next Tuesday

The House of Representatives on Wednesday stepped down the consideration of the 2021 budget proposal of Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), sequel to the absence of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme.

The resolution was passed sequel to the Constitutional Point of Order raised by a member of the House Committee on Pensions, Hon. Chudu Mumah, who demanded for explanation on the utilization of the N4.2 billion drawn from the Service Wide Votes.

Hon. Mumah who moved the motion, observed that section 88 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the “National Assembly to oversight government’s capital projections and everything that has or do with the economy of the MDAs concerned under the jurisdictions of the Committee.

“I further says that the action of the Committee is equal to the House, because this is the House in session. I will respectfully and in most disdainful manner, I am very, very angry right now because these agencies do not take us serious. How can you come for budget defence to tell us the key indicators of a preceding budget which will subsequently follow your presentation of the new budget.

“And we cannot even find the head of the agency and they’re sending delegation to come and interface with us. What are we suppose to tell Nigerians. Looking at their document there’s a N4.2 billion expenditure from the Service Wide Vote. These are things that the CEO and the head of agency suppose to interface with us and tell us directly.

“Because there’s a concept called vicarious liability, that liability presupposes that it’s the head of an institution that is vicarious liable to the acts and defects under him or her. So Mr. Chairman, hon. Members I don’t think we should entertain these people.

“They should go back home and we should give less than 72 hours for whoever that is the MD or CEO to appear before this honourable committee to defend the budget performance of 2020. Because at the end of everything, when Nigerians out there want to cast aspersions, it’s still the National Assembly they cast aspersions at.

“And we are seeing all these billions, billions she’s not even here to defend it. Nigerians even don’t know that there’s anything call PTAD that handles all these things. It is National Assembly members and House of Reps they know,” he noted.

According to him, it would be counter-productive to delegate responsibility to the director who he said will not have all the answers.

While ruling on the motion, Chairman, House Committee on Pensions, Hon. Kabiru Alhassan Rurum directed the PTAD Executive Secretary to appear before the Committee next week Tuesday, with the view to give stewardship account on the multi-billion naira approved in the 2020 Appropriations Act.

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