Reps’ panel slams ministry on application of COVID-19 funds 

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), has expressed anger over  the insufficient and inadequate documents presented to it by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments over how it spent over N75 billion allocated as COVID-19 intervention funds by the federal government.

The committee chaired by Hon Bamidele Salam currently probing Ministries Departments and Agencies of the federal government over the alleged  massive mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds at its resumed hearing Monday said the submission of the ministry on the expenditure of the N75 billions ” is a worthless piece of document which doesn’t say anything.”

The committee at its last sitting  had ordered the ministry, its immediate past and the incumbent permanent secretary to jointly refund the sum of  N75 billion allocated to it as COVID-19 intervention funds after the refusal of officials of the ministry to appear before the committee to defend the expendables. 

However, when the incumbent permanent secretary  of the ministry, Ambassador Nura Abba Rimi,  appeared before the committee on Monday, he said  he only assumed office at the ministry  on the 21st of January  this year, apologising for the failure of the ministry to appear before the Constitutional Committee three consecutive times to defend the expendables as requested.

Reacting, a member of the committee, Hon. Bassey Akiba,  raised a point of order for entertaining the ministry again after a decision had been taken over its matter and which has not been been set aside.

 “Mr. chairman, Honourable Colleagues, let us even look at the issue of whether or not we should listen to the ministry and that for me is very important,” he stated. 

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