COVID-19: Reps order Rural Electrification Agency to refund N133m

Elizabeth AtimeJanuary 22, 20243 min
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The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has ordered Rural Electrification Agency to to refund N133.476 million Covid19 funds

The PAC of the House of Reps has ordered the Rural Electrification Agency to refund the sum of N133m to govt coffers 

Reps on WAEC

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) House of Representatives has uncovered the sum of N133.476 million unused COVID-19 funds domiciled in the accounts of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

It said the funds represent the balance from the sum of N12.424 billion appropriated for the agency by the National Assembly.

The Committee chaired by Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun) also queried the Agency for breaching the procurement act for awarding contracts through a selection of the contractors in their database and further accused it of going against the approval of the Bureau of Public (BPP) Procurement. 

They queried the discrepancies in the total number of projects approved by the BPP which approved a total number of 193 projects. However, the REA was to later award 191 projects leaving out two (2) hence, a balance of N133.476 million which the Committee wants answers and explanations for.

These concerns were raised on day 3 of the probe “on alleged utilisation and mismanagement of COVID-19 funds by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government between the year 2020 to 2022.” 

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) was earlier invited to give a detailed explanation of the sum of  N12.424 billion COVID-19 funds it disbursed between 2020 and 2021.

Also, the Committee wants to ascertain the whereabouts of N133.476 million allegedly inflated in the contract sum. 

The Managing Director (MD), REA, Mr. Ahmad Salihijo in his reaction noted that: “What happened is during the procurement we could not award everything. so that is the reason for that differential.

“Although the money is still lying fallow in our account it has not been used”, he explained.

In a swift reaction, Rep. Salam argued that: “it is against the rules that you are still keeping the sum of N133.476 million federal government money with you.”

Meanwhile, REA admitted earlier that contracts were awarded through selective tendering due to the emergencies involved and not the normal process of bidding.

Elizabeth Atime

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