Reps probe multi-trillion naira SDGs, GEEP, social investment projects

House of Representatives will next week flag-off the nationwide investigation into the multi-trillion naira projects implemented under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Government Empowerment Enterprise Programme (GEEP).

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke disclosed this in Abuja while addressing Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displayed Persons, Senator Bashiru Mohammed; Director, Finance and Administration, Mr Umaru Hassan and other officials.

Hon. Oke who explained that the sub-committees set by the Committee will commence work next week explained that all the projects enumerated by various MDAs under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as well as Sustainable Development Goals, would be inspected with the view to ensure value for money between 2015 and 2019.

“You will all recall that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, has been here. They beefed us about all their programmes particularly under the National Social Investment Programmes of government. We are only expecting one other Programme Officer to brief us on all the programmes of the government in this area ad that is under Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, which is domiciled with the Bank of Industry.

“So we have written to Bank of Industry but I think they have a problem; their problem is connecting to Abuja from Lagos, they are based in Lagos so there is no flight for them to be here, so that’s the problem we have; so we are waiting for them.

“All other programmes have been appraised, all these programmes, like we ruled earlier, that subcommittees across the 36 states of the federation and FCT would commence work next week to look into these programmes and consider value for money vis-a-vis the claims of the various programmes officers,” he noted.

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“For the Refugee Commission, we are looking at their activities from 2015 to 2019. This is also applicable to SDGs, we have only seen the officials of Refugee Commission; we don’t know whether SDG has immunity not to appear before the Parliament.

“But we will have to wait, we will have to tarry while we considering Refugee Commission, we will see whether they will come or not, then we will now decide on our next line of action,” he observed.

Hon. Oke explained that the sub-Committee while on oversight function of all the NSIPs projects across various zones and states of the federation.

According to him, the Refugee Commission also houses some of our Zonal Intervention Projects and Constituency projects.

“So we will also be looking at the level of delivery, efficiency, value for money because some of our members have been wrongly accused; wrongly alleged even by an NGO – BudgIT or something on Internet and twitter.

“Often than none they alleged our members have taken x, y, z projects to their constituencies but this exercise will throw light on those things because it is one thing to appropriate, but we want to see what were the actuals.

“Was it 50%, was it 30%, was it 40%, so that Nigerians will be aware and then this mudslinging, blackmailing of our lawmakers and leaders will stop,” he noted.

While presenting the budget performance of the ZIP appropriated funds for the period under review, the Commission’s Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Umaru Hassan, disclosed that from the sum of N2.514 billion was approved in 2015 out which the sum of N2.22 billion (the equivalent of 88.4%) was released and utilised 100%.

In 2016, out of a total sum of N2.924 billion approved for Zonal Intervention Projects, the sum of N2.339 billion was released to the Commission (representing about 88%) with 100% utilization.

In 2017, out of the total sum of N3.269 billion approved for the Zonal Intervention Projects, the sum of N2.3 billion was released.

In 2018, out of the sum of N4.75 billion approved for Zonal Intervention Projects, the sum of N3.482 billion (representing 73.2%) was released to the Commission.

In 2019, out of the sum of N3.424 billion approved for Zonal Intervention Projects, the sum of N1.369 billion (representing 26.42%) was released.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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