Drama as Interior minister fails to account for 2013 budget

Posted: October 9, 2013 in federal, political, Uncategorized
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There was drama yesterday when members of House of Representatives visited the Ministry of Interior on oversight function as the ministry could not account properly for the handling of the 2013 appropriation budget.
Trouble started when the minister, Comrade Patrick Abba Moro, attempted disclosing implementation of budgetary allocation to the ministry for the fiscal year but could not account properly for what was released to the ministry and how it was expended as there was contradictions in the sums voted for projects and sums release in relation to the actual works done.
The Minister who had claimed in his address to have implemented the budget 100% also noted that some of the projects were ongoing. The minister therefore called on the director of finance, Mr. Ben Odoh to explain the obvious discrepancies in the figures presented to the committee.
This development irked the committee when it queried the minister “you said the projects are completed and at the same time ongoing, it is confusing and totally embarrassing”.
The committee deputy chairman, Hon, Dan Asuquo, who led the committee, directed the ministry to as a matter of urgency submit all the bill of quantities and certificate of contracts awarded by the ministry in the ongoing fiscal year.
The House committee through Hon. Ibrahim Ebbo, requested the minister to arrange for the members to tour the projects captured in his presentations to have firsthand information on their authenticity and the level of execution.
Responding to the discrepancies, the minister who admitted the said discrepancies, appealed for more time to trash out the gray areas with the relevant departments of the ministry before making the presentation.
He said: “I am very sorry for the discrepancies; I also agreed that we ought to have sat down as a ministry and done the proper work to avoid the discrepancies you have identified”.
On the ongoing recruitment exercise in the Immigration Service and the collection of N1000 fee for registration, which the committee were not comfortable with, quarried the minister on why he floated the order of the House.
Though Mr. Abba Moro responded that he was not aware of House resolution putting a stop to the recruitment fee; I am not aware of the House resolution to stop the collection of N1000, if for any reason the committee has any reservation for what we are doing, we are open to advice. If the committee resolve that we should stop it today, I have no reservation against that”, he said.

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