Reps commence investigation on Covid-19 intervention funds

Beloved JohnJanuary 17, 20244 min

The House of Reps will commence an investigative hearing on the alleged misappropriation of COVID-19 funds, expended between 2020 – 2022, on Wednesday, January 16, 2023. 

The House of Representatives is set to commence an investigation on the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 funds released between 2020 to 2022. 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, by Rep. Akin Rotimi (APC, Ekiti), Chairman, House Committee on Media & Public Affairs, a series of hearings has been slated by the House Committee on Public Accounts which is chaired by Rep Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun State).

These hearings are scheduled to be held between Wednesday 17th January 2024 and Friday 26th January 2024. 

Rep. Rotimi disclosed that fifty-nine Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Parastatals of Government have been issued notices to appear before the Committee based on the schedule.

Each MDA is to be represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Head of Finance, Head of Procurement, and Officers that are conversant with the expenditures of the COVID-19 Intervention Funds,” he said. 

Recall that the House of Representatives had earlier resolved to investigate the misappropriation of N183.8bn COVID-19 intervention funds in October 2013 following the adoption of a motion titled; “Investigation of Alleged Mismanagement of COVID-19 Intervention Funds from 2020 to 2022.”

The sponsor of the motion, Rep. Nyampa Dauda Zakari (PDP, Adamawa), in his lead debate, pointed out how the Auditor-General’s report revealed that significant funds and international donations for palliatives during the pandemic remain unaccounted for by MDAs.

According to him, this lack of accountability for intervention funds during the pandemic could affect the country’s economic rating.

“The lack of proper accountability of funds allocated for COVID-19 intervention by the Federal Government and global donor agencies could potentially lead to negative economic ratings and loss of opportunities for Nigeria,” he stated

Speaking on this, Rep. Rotimi MDAs that fail to appear before the Committee will be sanctioned. 

 “The Committee during its hearing observed with great disdain, the failure of some MDAs to honor its earlier publication and cause appearance before the Committee. The Committee hereby requests that all MDAs listed above cause appearance on their respective dates unfailingly. Failure to comply with this civil invitation may leave the Committee with no choice but to resolve the issues raised against your Office/Medical Institutions.”

“The MDAs grouped into eight (8) include the Accountant-General of the Federation, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency, and the Rural Electrification Agency.

“Others include the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, as well as a large number of Federal Medical Centres, Federal University Teaching Hospitals and Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospitals across the country.

“The National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Offices, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), a host of federal ministries and various security agencies such as the Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, and the Federal Fire Service make up the remaining institutions invited,” he said.

Beloved John

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