The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has threatened to withhold the 2021 allocation budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs unless it provides some essential documents.
It was revealed that the Director of Finance and Administration in the ministry, who appeared alongside Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was unable to provide answers to some vital questions. The questions bothered on how the ministry expended the bailout given to it by the Federal Government.
The committee also requested for proof of purchase of the two generators acquired at the ministry. It warned that failure to provide the necessary financial details may lead to delay in the allocation of the ministry’s 2021 budget.
In reference to the bailout given to the Ministry to clear some of its debts, including arrears of workers’ welfare, Mr. Yakub, Chairman of the Committee said, ‘We must appreciate the concern of Mr. President for approving and releasing over US$18 million, over 1 million Pounds and over N5 billion to clear existing liabilities in our Foreign Missions and give a new face to the headquarters in order to start on a clean slate.’
Faulting the failure to provide all necessary documents, Maigeri Bello Kasumu (APC Taraba), a member of Foreign Affairs Sub-committee, said, ‘we requested for some documents to enable the sub-committee carry out its work, but you submitted only part of it.’
Yakub, therefore, stated that the committee might withhold the ministry’s allocation in the 2021 budget unless provisions are made for the documents required.
Ahmed Idris, the Account-General of the Federation (AuGF), also disclosed the plan of the FG to acquire software that will monitor the revenue generation of selected Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
He also spoke at the 2021 budget defense session, saying, ‘We don’t have visibility… As money is coming in, we see it dropping. Now, we don’t have. But we’re working through the Office of the Department of Revenue and Investment to have a software linked to all these revenue-generating agencies.’
Adding that, ‘This is geared towards achieving that. Once we have that, we will deploy it to all revenue-generating agencies, particularly as it relates to government-owned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). But beyond that, we are also planning to do holistic for the federation.’
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