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How MDAs Squandered ₦‎3.8 Trillion Under Buhari – Report

Dozens of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government misused N3.8 trillion they received from the Service Wide Votes (SWV) in four years, according to a…

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Dozens of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government misused N3.8 trillion they received from the Service Wide Votes (SWV) in four years, according to a Senate report.

 

Service Wide Votes is the government’s contingency fund in the annual budget.

 

The Senate Public Accounts Committee had probed the disbursement of N5 trillion from the SWV to more than 200 government agencies between 2017 and 2021, when ex-President Muhammadu Buhari was in power.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, invited 207 government agencies for the investigation, but only 119 agencies appeared.

The panel presented its report to the Senate during Wednesday’s plenary and its recommendations were adopted.

Urhoghide, while presenting the report, said his committee after investigation discovered that many agencies collected fund from SWV without recourse to the National Assembly committees that is mandated by law to oversight the agencies.

He said some of the MDAs did not make formal requests for the money that was sent to them by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

He said where the approval of Mr. President was sought and obtained, some MDAs used the resources for unrelated expenditure purpose.

The senator said some MDAs collected the fund for projects that were already budgeted for in the Appropriation Acts over the years.

He said, “Hundreds of Billions of Naira were claimed to have been used for the purposes of paying salary shortfalls whereas such agencies had already collected appropriation for personnel emolument and were on the IPPIS platform.

“In some instances, huge sums Of money were thrown at agencies which they didn’t apply for/or are not in the know of where the money came from and for what purpose.

“The IPPIS intervention towards meeting insufficiencies or shortfalls in Personnel Costs has been bastardized and running into huge sums of money needing legislative scrutiny.

“Most of the MDAs involved in the period under review deliberately avoided the Committee’s invitation for appearance and refused to make submissions, perhaps for lack of satisfactory explanations on the utilization of the funds released to them.”

The senate, after adopting the committee’s recommendations, urged the Executive to use supplementary budget approach to meet emergencies instead of Service Wide Vote, which it said amounts to affront/erosion of the approval powers of the National Assembly.

The committee also recommended that the Auditor-General for the Federation should be given full access by the Accountant General and other MDAs to audit Service Wide Vote expenditures annually and report to the National Assembly.

It also called for in-depth investigation into the operations of IPPIS to stern the rising cases of irregularities in the system.

Some of the affected agencies are: Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transportation, Health, Works and Housing, Information and Culture, Mines and Steal Development, Police Affairs, Defence, Youths and Sports, Petroleum and Aviation.

Others are: State House, Budget Office, Presidential Fleet, Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, NAFDAC, Civil Defence, Presidential Amnesty Programme, FERMA, NEMA, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Debt Management Office, INEC, North East Development Commission (NEDC), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), National Examination Council (NECO), among others.

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Breaking news: Minimum Wage: Labour rejects FG’s N54,000 offer

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The organised labour has rejected the Federal Government N54,000 new minimum wage proposal.

 

According to reliable source, the meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour.

 

Media report has it that the Federal Government upped its offer from its earlier proposed N48,000 to N54,000.

Tuesday’s meeting came as a result of the walkout staged by members of the organised labour following the proposal of N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government during last week’s meeting.

During that meeting, the OPS had also proposed N54,000 while labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

Our correspondent who spoke to sources who attended the follow-up meeting on Tuesday learnt that the Federal Government upped its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

“Well, during the meeting, the government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000. However, labour rejected that offer and the meeting has been adjourned till Wednesday,” a source who asked not to be named said.

When asked if the government’s side was showing any sign of seriousness, the labour leader said, “No seriousness at all. Even state governors did not show up. Those who represented them, like Bauchi and Niger states, did not have the mandates to speak on their behalf.

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Real Madrid’s goalkeeper shares recovery insights after two injuries

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has opened up about his recovery journey following two serious knee injuries.

 

Courtois said, “In August, I cried because the worst thing that can happen to you in football is a cruciate ligament injury. When I returned home, I said that I was going to work hard and come back stronger. That was my idea from the beginning: to stay positive, fight, never give up, and push my limits.

 

“Many thought my season was over, but I knew it wasn’t,” Courtois told Marca.

Recall that for most of the current season, Courtois missed out due to two injuries: a cruciate ligament tear and a meniscus injury. In his absence, first-choice goalkeeper was Chelsea’s loanee Kepa Arrizabalaga, and later, he faced competition from Andriy Lunin.

Upon his return, Courtois played in 3 La Liga matches, keeping clean sheets in all of them. In the last game against Alaves, the Belgian made 10 saves.

Earlier, it was reported that Courtois’ recovery from injury will be featured in a documentary series.

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