Reps ask for time to assess refugee commission’s 2020 budget performance 

The House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Humanitarian matters, on Monday, suspended the consideration of the budget performance by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced.
The motion to suspend the consideration, according to the committee was to afford members the ample time to scrutinize the volume of documents provided by the commission.
The member responsible for the motion, Rep. Awaji Inombek Dagomie Abiante (PDP, Rivers), said it wasn’t enough for the commission to dump such a voluminous documents on members and expect them to approve same without going through every budget subhead and their level of implementation.
According to him, “we are here trying to birth a new Nigeria that our generation unborn can be proud of, and in doing so, we must do due diligence by critically looking at the books presented before us.”
The lawmaker, therefore, moved that the chairman step down the consideration to allow members to study the 2020 performance as documented by the commissioner with a view to doing a good job of assessing it.
The motion was seconded with the chairman putting the question which was agreed upon.
The commissioner in charge of the Refugees Agency, Sen Bashir Garba Mohammed, had earlier told the committee that the sum of N5.7bn was appropriated for the agency as capital and recurrent expenditure in 2020, adding that the amount represents 36.5% increase from 2019.
He said overhead was N29m, just as he disclosed that the commission just awarded contracts due to the delay occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
He said out of the total sum, only N4.2m for overhead has been released so far while the sum of N2.1bn was approved for zonal intervention (constituency) projects for lawmakers.

He, therefore, informed that “the commission has the capacity and full willingness to execute projects appropriated for in the 2020 budget,” in an appeal to the committee to help the agency extend the life of its capital budget implementation.

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