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Senate panel accuses Lottery Trust Fund of N7 billion fraud

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‘Agency awarded N1.1b contract without due process’

Senate Committee on Finance, yesterday, accused National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) of perpetrating fraud running to over N7 billion.

Chairman of the committee, Adeola Olamilekan, made the allegation during ongoing investigation into remittances by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) between 2014 and 2020, and payment of one per cent stamp duty on all contract awards within the same period.

The agency also allegedly violated due process in awarding a contract worth N1.12 billion tagged “Intervention budget distribution” that was requested for in a letter dated March 12, 2014.

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At the investigation, Olamilekan said that during the period under review, the agency declared N7billion, but investigation by the committee revealed that the money spent “on good course” is more than the amount declared by the agency as its internally generated revenue.

Olamilekan, who was astonished about the source of the money spent, asked the National Lottery Trust Fund to disclose it.

“We discovered another monumental fraud from the National Lottery Trust Fund for money that ordinarily should have been used for good course in accordance with their Act.

“The total money accruing to them in the period under review was about N7 billion, but by the time we marry this money with the good course to be provided, we noticed that the amount expended on good course is even more than the amount that was declared.

“The questions are: from where did you get the excess fund; do you have any other source of income? The answer is no. And what that simply implies is under- declaration of revenue,” the panel chairman said.

The total procurement cost for the contract awarded without due process was put at N800 million, consultancy service was N185 million, public awareness and media cost was N50 million, N50 million was spent on project administration while N25 million was spent on contingency.

It was gathered that the consultancy fee, which was about N185 million, was expected to be N80 million, which is 10 per cent of the contract cost.

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