The Senate Committee on Power has summoned Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, over N147 billion included in the capital project of Ministry of power for 2023 fiscal year.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP Benue North East) ordered the Minister’s invitation during budget defence session Ministry of Power had with the committee.
He claimed that the Committee could not understand how the fund for the Billateral/ Multilateral project in the power sector was being expended .
He said, “The actual capital budget of the Ministry of Power for 2023 is N44 billion while N147bn is meant for bilateral and multilateral.
“We can’t explain how they are expended, you can’t lay your hand on the projects, we cannot oversight it, the ministry of Power does not know about it.
“We are inviting the Minister of Finance to come and explain to us, the money has been put in the budget year in, year out.”
The Minister of Power presented a budget of N250bn for the Ministry.
Also, the Senate Public Account Committee (SPAC) has also queried the National Drugs Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for allegedly spending N1.5bn to recruit 5,000 personnel in 2021.
The NDLEA collected the N1.5 billion from the controversial Service Wide Votes (SWV) currently being probed by SPAC.
At the investigation on expenditure on SWV, the Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), wondered how the agency could spend the amount on the recruitment of 5, 000 personnel.
The Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, specifically wondered how the agency could spend such amount on recruitment of 5, 000 personnel.
However, the Director of Finance and Accounts of NDLEA, Abdullaahi Shitu, who represented the Chairman of the anti-drug agency, Brig.Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), claimed that part of the money was used to renovate building at the training camp of the agency.
The lawmakers rejected the explanation and argued that the Authority to Incure Expenditure (AIE) submitted by the agency showed that it was for recruitment and not for the building in the train camp.
The Committee therefore ordered the NDLEA to bring the nominal roll of the 5, 000 personnel of the agency for betting by Thursday (today).
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has proposed N50bn as its 2023 Budget.
The commission had already received the approval of the National Assembly to spend N305bn for the next year’s general elections.
The N50bn budget of the electoral umpire, had an increment of N10 bn compared to 2022 budget which was N40bn as approved by the National Assembly.
In the 2023 budget submitted to the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters for consideration, N2.6bn was earmarked for off-season elections – the Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa Governorship elections .
The elections for the three states will hold on November 11, 2023.