REVEALED – FAAN spent N3.5b COVID-19 Fund on furniture

David OputahJanuary 19, 20243 min

It was revealed at the PAC hearing on Thursday that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) spent a whooping sum of N3.543 billion from COVID-19 funds on furniture grants. 

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives has heard how the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) spent the sum of N3.5 billion from its COVID-19 funds on what it termed ‘Furniture Grant’.

The panel is probing the “alleged utilisation and mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020 to 2022.

The Committee chairman, Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun), on Thursday during the hearing described the utilisation of funds by FAAN as unbelievable.

They queried the agency for spending a whopping sum of N7.711 billion for COVID-19 funds in the year under review between 2020 and 2022.

The lawmakers also expressed shock and found it alarming that during the period under review, there was no movement, travels were cancelled or restricted and meetings were mostly held on Zoom, as it wondered how the Agency spent all that sum.

Below is a breakdown of how the Ministry spent the aforementioned sum as captured in the document submitted to the Committee;

Furniture grant: N3.543billion

Staff Claims: N205million

PFA: N771million

Gratuity: N1.625billion

Cooperative Deductions: N1.491billion

NSITF: N144.472million

PAYE: N191, 372million

Totaling N7.711,595,711.00

In her submission, Ms. Olubumi Muku, Managing Director, FAAN, stated that the agency was mostly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the special services it offers.

To put on record, FAAN collected COVID-19 funds and also recouped money from their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”

Scrutinising the expenditure, Rep Francis Waive (APC, Delta) a member of PAC said spending COVID-19 funds on salaries and cooperative deductions amounts to double allocation.

Are we not having a situation of double allocation because most of these items listed by the Managing Director (MD) are already covered by budgetary provisions.

“Another thing is staff Claims, how were they doing these tours when there was no movement and another issue is sitting allowance.”

Another lawmaker, Rep. Mathew Nwogu (APC, Imo) then moved a motion that the submission of the Ministry be rejected but the chairman intervened and pleaded that the MD was a new appointee.

According to Nwogu, “This submission is wreckless and it can not fly anywhere. Also, no evidence of salary was included in the submission made by FAAN.”

The under-listed government agencies are appearing before the PAC on “investigation of alleged utilisation and mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020 to 2022.

1. Rural Electrification Agency, Abuja

2. Federal Ministry of Health

3. Federal Ministry Finance, Budget and National Planning

4. Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security

5. Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty, Alleviation

6. Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development

7. Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

David Oputah

Oputah David M is a Bloomberg-trained Journalist with a diversified experience in online journalism and newsroom management. He is a 2023 MTN Media Innovation fellow!

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