COVID-19 Probe: Reps C’ttee begins full investigation, cautions MDAs against lack of corporation

0
145

The Public Accounts Committee, PAC, of the House of Representatives on Monday began a full scale investigation into the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020 to 2023 as mandated by the House at the Plenary season. Addressing the opening session, the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Bamidele Salam has warned that the Committee would not entertain  delay mechanisms from the Ministries Departments and Agencies by way of asking for extension of time.

According to him, ” the Committee is probing over 60 MDAs over several billions of Naira intervention funds allocated to them during the COVID-19 and we have given them enough time to prepare for this exercise, the Committee will not entertain any extension of time from any of the MDAs the Committee is not after any individual or groups, we are going to be diligent in carrying out our assignment.

He implores the Accountant General of the Federation whose office was very important to the assignment to make available relevant and competent personnel to the Committee to facilitate the assignment. Some of the MDAs that appeared before the Committee included Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospitals Baruch, Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Road Maintenance Agency FERMA and others.

The Committee however, directed the Chief Medical Director of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Baruch, Prof Yusuf Jubrin to reappear before it on Thursday with relevant documents to back up the funds released to the institution during the period. While grilling the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communication Innovation and Digital Economy and the Procurement Officer, Mohammed Ibrahim and Margret Ebute the Committee members picked several holes in the documents submitted before it.

Consequently, the Committee directed the officials to go back and reappear with relevant documents, such as vouchers documentary evidence on the expenditure of the N3billion allocated for the Ministry during the period. The Committee also frowned on the awards of the several contracts on the same day and the claim of exclusive rights of certain contractors to provide certain Services without following principles of Federal character and due process. The Committee also faulted the claims of the ministry on the expenditure on training programes organized during the total lockdown in the country and directed it to provide relevant documents on it and the venues of such training programes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here