Reps to probe alleged N17b withdrawal from Sokoto Basin Authority account



THE House of Representatives has resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged withdrawal of N17 billion by the Federal Ministry of Finance from the account of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority.

This decision came following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Musa Sarki Adar (APC, Sokoto).

The panel is to investigate the circumstances of the conditional release and subsequent retrieval of the fund and report back within one week.

Leading debate on the motion, Adar noted that on March 11, 2015, the Federal Ministry of Finance caused the accounts of the Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority to be credited with the sum of N1.17 billion for the execution of capital projects in 2014 budget, but said the ministry without any cogent reason instructed the bank to keep the money on hold.

He also submitted that on April 11 2015, the ministry inexplicably made the bank to return the money to it, “an action that rendered the Authority incapable of discharging its contractual obligations and also stoppage of executions of projects.”

He expressed concern that the ministry has failed or refused to respond to a formal complaint made to it by the Authority over the matter, a situation that has led ‎to tense atmosphere within the parastatal.

The House also passed a motion urging the Federal Government to facilitate the completion of the dualisation of the Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi-Enugu road to ease the flow of traffic and reduce accidents on the road.

The motion, which was sponsored by Abubakar Sarki Dahiru was passed without debate.

While presenting the motion, Dahiru noted that the Akwanga-Lafia portion of the road is a single lane, meandering and highly dangerous stretch of road through the Akwanga hills.

According to him, due to the difficult terrain of the Akwanga hills, several Nigerians have lost their lives in accidents on the road.

He told the chamber that the contract was awarded by the Federal Government in 2009 for the realignment and straightening of the hills and dangerous curves between Akwanga and Lafia.

“However, the contractor has not done any appreciable work on the road as it does not seem to have decided on whether to carry out a realignment on the road or its dualisation or construct a new road; a situation that has led to traffic congestion as there is no alternative route for commuters who may have spent long hours on the road,” he said.

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