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Senate threatens zero allocation to 100 govt agencies for failing to answer audit queries

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Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government who failed to respond to audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAGF) risk zero allocation.

The agencies which are about 100 failed to respond to queries, a development that the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mathew Uroghide in a point asked for sanctions against the erring agencies.

The sanction, Uroghide said on Wednesday, is the zero allocation, noting that if the affected agencies cannot account for funds given to them, there should be no need for further allocations.

The lawmaker lamented how heads of agencies of government recklessly spend service-wide votes after which they are not prepared to give accounts in line with the rules and traditions of accountability.

He warned all indicted agencies to be ready to face the music for failing to appear before the panel after they were invited many times.

The lawmaker said sections 88 and 89 of the constitution empower the parliament to summon federal government agencies to account for public funds they had spent.

He, however, lamented that the agencies had vehemently refused to appear before his committee, saying the amounts of monies against their names are staggering.

He urged the Senate President to issue a warrant of arrest to compel the agencies to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

In his reaction, the Senate President gave the affected agencies one week’s ultimatum to appear before the committee or risk zero allocation in the 2023 budget.

Lawan said, “Reading this list at plenary, it gives the agencies the opportunity to now know if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.

“I am taking the opportunity to advise that, in the next one week, the agencies mentioned here should appear before the committee. If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reasons are given, we will slash the budget of the agencies.”

Some of the agencies are: the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transportation, Health, Works and Housing, Information and Culture, Mines and Steal Development, Police Affairs, Defence, Youths and Sports, Petroleum and Aviation.

Others are the State House, Budget Office, Presidential Flee, Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, NAFDAC, Civil Defence, Presidential Amnesty Programme, FERMA, NEMA, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Debt Management Office, INEC, North East Development Commission (NEDC), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dept Management Office, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), National Examination Council (NECO), among others.

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