COVID-19 Funds: Reps Order Ministries to Return N85 Billion Amidst Probe
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has ordered the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments to reimburse a sum of N75 billion to the Federal Government.
This stern directive was issued in light of the ministry’s conspicuous absence from an investigative hearing probing the alleged mismanagement of these funds, originally allocated for COVID-19 intervention.
In a similar vein, the Ministry of Health has been instructed to return N10 billion, initially granted for the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
Despite the ministry’s assertion, through its Permanent Secretary, Daju Kachallom, that the funds were held with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the committee remained resolute.
They insisted on the return of the funds, suggesting that the ministry could reapply to the National Assembly should the need for the funds persist.
The committee also turned its attention to the Rural Electrification Agency, directing its Director General, Salihijo Ahmed, to provide documents detailing the utilization of the agency’s COVID-19 intervention funds.
While the DG requested additional time to gather the necessary documents, the committee granted him a deadline of Friday’s close of work and scheduled a follow-up appearance for Monday at 10 am.