Reps tackle refugee commission over N25bn spending

THE House of Representatives has expressed its displeasure with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for failing to provide relevant documents to back up the N25bn appropriated for it between 2015 and 2019 fiscal years.

The House Committee on Public Accounts, at an investigative hearing on the audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, in Abuja on Monday, picked holes in the explanations made by officials of the commission.

NCRMIDP, in the documents presented to the committee, said from the total sum of N28.959bn appropriated to it between 2015 to 2019, the sum of N1.894bn was released for personnel cost; N433.218m for overhead cost, while N23.923bn was approved for capital expenditure.

Director of Finance and Account, Mr Umaru Hassan, in his presentation, said the sum of N22.369bn was released, out of which N14.735bn was for capital expenditure.

Hassan also said the sum of N2.583bn was released in 2015; N1.462bn in 2016; N2.346bn in 2017; N1.058 in 2018, and N1.370bn in 2019, for the implementation of various zonal intervention projects (constituency projects).

The DFA, however, informed the committee that an additional N100m was released to the commission from the Service Wide Vote in 2017.

However, Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, while requesting for details of all the capital projects by the commission, criticised the inconsistencies observed in the documents presented to the lawmakers.

Oke partly said, “He (Hassan) is out to defend the expenditure of N25bn. That is the task before us now. What did you do with N25bn? Yes, you could make payment to X, Y, Z, which is reflected in the bank statement (presented to the committee).

“What is the purpose of the payment? You’ve given us your record, even with all the inaccuracies, which is human error.”