Reps suspend debate on communication ministry’s budget

House of Representatives during a plenary on Tuesday.

• Probe usage of N4.9b projects funds
• Query lottery commission over financial accounts

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu over the execution of 48 projects worth N4.9 billion.

The decision followed the adoption of a motion moved by Mr. Diri Douye when Shittu appeared before members of the House Committee on Communication to defend his ministry’s 2017 budget proposal.

Douye, representing Yenagoa/Opokulma federal constituency in Bayelsa State sought the suspension of consideration of the 2017 budgetary proposal for the ministry to enable members of the committee ascertain whether the ministry actually utilised the amount to execute the 48 projects.

The committee led by Waheed Fijabi also resolved to investigate the ministry’s records to find out whether it complied with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), next week.

Shittu, while reviewing the performance of the 2016 budget, disclosed that of the N4.9 billion appropriated for capital projects, his ministry was able to access N3.003 billion to execute the 48 projects, one of them on-going.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday queried the National Lottery Commission (NLC) for failing to certify its yearly financial statements.

During a hearing on alleged financial discrepancies against the commission by Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) between 2010 to 2013, members of the committee discovered that the financial reports which the commission presented as audited version was not certified by any accountant or accounting firm as required by law.

But the commission’s Director General, Adolphus Joe Ekpe claimed that what was spent between 2010 and 2012 was only the operating surplus.

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