Senate gives ministry 24 hours to defend N700m from SWV
The Senate has given the Ministry of Interior 24 hours to defend N700 million received from Service Wide Votes (SWV) for the monitoring of Ondo and Edo governorship elections.
From the record, the money was released in two batches – N400 million for Ondo and N300 million for Edo. According to Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE), N400 million was released to the Ministry of Interior for logistics and operational support in respect of the Ondo ballot. It adds that N300 million was released to the ministry for logistics and operational support in respect of the Edo election.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Matthew Urhoghide, gave the directive to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, due to excuse by the ministry that the N700 million would be accounted for by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
In defence, Belgore said: “It is the NSDC that will account for the money; we only make request on behalf of the NSDC.”
Not satisfied with the defence, Urhoghide said the excuse was not tenable because the NSCDC did not collect the money; that the ministry did.
He added that the NSCDC would only come before the committee to account for the money requested personally from SWV.
“NSCDC has its own query from the panel to respond. The officials have money given to them directly. From our records, it is your ministry that will defend the expenditure, not NSCDC,” he added.
The chairman, therefore, gave the ministry 24 hours to defend the N700 million for the Edo and Ondo elections.
“You have 24 hours to make your report available to us. We must get explanation from you,” he submitted.
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