House Committee queries NIPC over N3.15b expenditure discrepancies

Leah TwakiMay 31, 20243 min

How can you tell me that NIPC generated N2.89 billion and on record, you spent N3.15 billion we asked, where did you get the money and who gave you the authority to spend above the budget?

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has raised concerns over the financial operations of the National Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) after the agency reported an expenditure of N3.15 billion despite submitting a revenue of N2.89 billion for the first quarter of 2024.

During the session held on Thursday, the committee, led by Chairman James Faleke (APC Lagos), scrutinized the NIPC’s financial records as part of its ongoing monitoring of the revenue performance of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The Director of Finance and Administration at NIPC, Akwada James, explained that the N2.89 billion reported was the projected expenditure for the entire year.

However, Faleke questioned the logic behind presenting annual expenditure against quarterly revenue. “The revenue collection for the first quarter of 2024 is N2.89 billion and your expenditure for that same period is N3.15 billion. If you are giving us revenue for a quarter, the expenditure for that quarter should be stated, not the whole. How can you give me expenditure for the whole year?Faleke asked.

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In response, Akwada stated that the format was provided by the budget office. Faleke rejected this explanation, expressing frustration over the discrepancy. “No sir, we don’t like that format here. It’s confusing. How can you tell me that you generated N2.89 billion and on record, you spent N3.15 billion and we asked, where did you get the money and who gave you the authority to spend above the budget?”

Further compounding the committee’s concerns was the revelation that the NIPC spent 20 per cent of its revenue in 2023. Faleke emphasized that as a fully funded agency, the NIPC should remit 100 per cent of its revenue, questioning the legality of the expenditures. “A fully funded agency is supposed to remit its revenue 100 per cent. So you spent money illegally. On whose authority did you approve the usage of that money?”

Akwada defended the agency’s actions, stating that they were in line with their understanding with the Federal Ministry of Finance and supported by a letter from the ministry. Faleke demanded to see this letter by Monday, threatening personal accountability for the funds if the authorization could not be verified.

Adding to the scrutiny, the Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), Victor Mururako, represented by Mrs Victoria Adizou-Angakuru, disclosed that the NIPC had not submitted audited financial statements since 2019.

Faleke mandated NIPC Managing Director, Aisha Rimi, to present comprehensive records to the committee on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

To resolve the contradictions, Faleke suggested involving the Accountant General of the Federation to clarify the discrepancies in the financial records of the NIPC. “The best approach is to invite the Accountant General of the Federation. Given the contradictions, we would keep our documents and let the accountant general come and tell us what is responsible for these discrepancies in the records of a fully funded agency,” he concluded.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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