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How MDAs abused N3.8trn Service Wide Vote, by Senate



Senate fixes March 1 to vote on report of constitution review

Senate has uncovered how Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs of the federal government abused Service Wide Votes, SWV of about N3.8 trillion between 2017 and 2021.

The Red Chamber, which discovered this through investigation by its Committee on Public Accounts, has therefore, advised the Executive to use supplementary budget approach to meet emergencies instead of Service Wide Vote.

According to the report presented by the committee chairman, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, the Executive should be advised to use supplementary budget approach to meet emergencies or shortfall rather than the current Service Wide Vote mechanism which amounts to affront /erosion of the approval powers of the National Assembly.

The committee had conducted investigation into disbursement of the Service Wide Votes.

The committee invited 207 government agencies for the investigation, but only 119 appeared for defence while 85 others shunned the invitations extended to them.

Among the agencies that shunned the Committee investigation were the State House, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA; Federal Ministry of Health; Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.

In the report submitted by the Committee which was upheld by the Senate, some agencies did not make formal request for the money that was sent to them by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

It was also discovered that hundred of billions were claimed to have been used for the purpose of paying salaries shortfalls whereas such agencies had already collected appropriate for personnel emoluments and were IPPIS platform.

The Senate further discovered that MDAs have not been disclosing Service Wide Votes transaction documents such as payment vouchers, vote book.

Senate therefore urged the Executive should limit the release of Service Wide Vote to recurrent emergencies or shortfall genuinely desired with satisfactory proof.

The also recommended in-depth investigation into depth the operations of IPPIS to stern the rising cases of irregularities in the system.

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