Social Investment Fund: Reps summon Adeosun, Ahmed, Farouq, others over N1.7trn allocation

FORMER Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the incumbent Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning,  Mrs Zainab Ahmed, are expected to appear before the House of Representatives over N1.7 trillion appropriated for the implementation of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) from 2016 to September 2019.

Also expected to appear is the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya  Umar Farouq; incumbent and former permanent secretaries, desk officers involved in the implementation of the programmes in both ministries as well as the National Social Investment Office (NSIO).

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Honourable Wole Oke, issued the summon during the investigative hearing into the audit queries on the financial activities of the NSIPs.

He 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.

In his presentation, Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said out of the N1.7  trillion 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 Federal Ministry of Humanitarian  Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

A breakdown of the funds, processed and released by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and seen by the Nigerian Tribune showed that 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.

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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.

In his response, Agba said the newly-posted director of procurement has not reported to the ministry as a result of ill-health. Oke then said: “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.

After ruling on the summon of the officers, Oke then said committee members will from Monday go to their respective states and federal constituencies to verify the beneficiaries of various NSIP programmes and submit their reports for further legislative action.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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