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Reps probe MDAs withholding budget funds

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to investigate ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government that are diverting budget releases to other purposes.

The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, is alleging that MDAs often deny receiving funds after the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation have announced releases to them.

The House, therefore, mandated all standing committees to “thoroughly investigate agencies they supervise and identify lapses if any.”

The Committees on Finance and Appropriations were also mandated to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning “for the purposes of ascertaining releases made to ministries, departments and agencies in compliance with the 2021 Appropriation Act.”

Furthermore, the lawmakers resolved that all the committees should conclude this within two weeks and report back to the House for further legislative actions.

Elumelu had moved a motion on a “matter of urgent national importance,” which the lawmakers unanimously adopted.

Elumelu noted that the MDAs are the channels responsible for the delivery of government policies. He also noted that Sections 80 to 84 of the 1999 Constitution confer powers of appropriation on the parliament as well as its oversight responsibilities over the national purse.

He cited Section 80(4) of the Constitution as specifically stating that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidation Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.

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