Niger Assembly to commence investigation into government’s finance

Members of the Niger State House of Assembly may have commenced an investigation into financial expenditures of the state government following accusations that money was allegedly expended outside appropriation.

Raising a motion of urgent public importance at Thursday’s plenary, member representing Bosso Constituency, Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso said N2 billion had been spent outside appropriation law by the ministry of works.

The lawmaker noted that another N360million and N450million had been expended by the ministries of sports and justice respectively and queried that the expenditures were made outside the 2020 budget.

Buttressing his position, the lawmaker disclosed that the expenditures were not approved/authorized by the House of Assembly through supplementary law as required under section 120, subsection (2) of the 1999 Constitution.

He said “all these huge sums of money were spent out of the public funds of the state unconstitutionally and unlawfully, as they were not authorized by the House of Assembly.

“As representatives of the people of Niger State, we cannot fold our hands allowing public funds being expended without due process not strictly adhered to.”

Hon Bosso queried further that “if that money were spent unconstitutionally and the state government has an option to bring a Supplementary Appropriation Bill but refuses, then there may be more to it than meets the eye, and therefore it has become imperative for this House to live up to its expectations.”

He said section 120, subsection (2 and 3) stipulated that “no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or where the issue of the money has been authorized by an Appropriation Law, Supplementary Appropriation Law or Law passed in pursuance of section 212 of the Constitution.

“No money shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the state, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state unless the issue of those money has been authorized by Law of the House of Assembly of the state.”

Hon. Bosso thereby asked his colleagues to invite relevant officials to appear before the house to explain these “unconstitutional acts and why constitutional actions should not be taken against the government.”

The House then adopted the prayers and resolved that the commissioners of finance, budget and planning, sports, works and justice be invited to appear before it next week Wednesday.

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