Senate probes NYSC, Others over extra-budgetary spending

The Senate has commence the probing of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), over alleged extra budgetary spending.

Others also undergoing probe on same charges are the Nigeria Army and the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.

Speaking to Journalists in Abuja at the weekend, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party Party, PDP, Edo South stated that the Committee was looking at the Auditor General for the Federation query to the Accountant General of the Federation regarding extra budgetary spending.

“We have been scrutinising the report submitted to us by the Auditor – General from 2015 till date. While perusing the assets and liabilities aspect of the report, we came across certain things that caught our attention in the query by the Auditor – General.

“He mentioned that loans under special funds were used for different purposes. The money, drawn from levies imposed on imported materials were given out as loans to agencies according to the documents before us.

“The whole idea really is that these loans, we observed from 2014 audited accounts that a particular sum of N922m was withdrawn from the 25 per cent rice levy as loans given to the Independent National Electoral Commission to finance the 2015 elections.

“The loan was contrary to the purpose for which the fund was established. It was meant for the local production of rice in Nigeria.

“The beneficiaries are supposed to be local rice producers in Nigeria. It was not meant to fund elections. Those who got part of the money are the NYSC, the Nigerian Army, the NSA and others.

“We asked the NSA what it used its own money for. They said they didn’t apply for loan. Virtually all of them are saying that they didn’t apply for loan but it was showing as loan to them from the auditor General query.

“The agencies are many. We asked whether they got the money, they said yes. Also, we asked whether it was given to them as loan but they said no. NSA told us the truth that it used its own to support the Anambra election by providing logistics.

“The query is to the Accountant General, we just want to corroborate it, that is why we invited the agencies. We are asking them for documents to see whether the money was part of their budget or extra budgetary provisions.

“We discovered that what was given to these agencies was outside the Appropriation. There were demands from the agencies straight to the executive without recourse to the National Assembly.

“This is what we find offensive because we cannot understand why they should demand and get money which was not part of the money appropriated for them in the budget. The money are much under various headings. There is one of N31bn, N37bn, and N922m among others, drawn from different levies. We are trying to find out whether they are within the appropriation or outside.” Urhoghide said.

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