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House Frowns At Extra Budgetary Spending By NIHSA

todayDecember 16, 2023 14

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By Oduyemi Odumade

The House of Representatives has queried the management of National Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA), over full payment of multi-billion naira to contactors for ongoing projects in the 2023 fiscal year.

Chairman, House Committee on Hydrological Service Agency, Pascal Agbodike and members of the Committee made the observation during the 2023 budget performance and 2024 budget defence.

While scrutinizing the budget appraisal, the lawmakers who frowned at various infractions in the implementation of the 2023 Appropriation Act, accused the Agency’s helmsman of embarking on “extra budgetary spending”.

In his presentation, Director General of NIHSA, Mr. Clement Nze said that the Agency wrote formally to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation on the unspent fund meant for outstanding projects in 2022 Appropriation Act and got approval.

According to him, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation OAGF, in its response wrote back to the Agency that the money has been returned to the Agency’s coffer in 2023 to ensure completion of the projects.

While presenting the 2024 budget, Mr. Nze disclosed that the sum of N1.266 billion was proposed for capital expenditure, while personnel is for N472.914 million and overhead is N118.411 million under the recurrent expenditure.

He noted that the Agency is expected to generate N5 Billion for 2024 fiscal year.

Worried about the inconsistencies in the budget presentation, Mr. Ahmed Jaha who expressed displeasure over the development, urged the Committee to step down the consideration of the 2024 budget proposal.

However, in his intervention, Nwogu who pleaded that the Committee should not starve the agency so that it won’t die young, urged his counterparts to adopt the budget proposal and continue the scrutiny during oversight function.

In his ruling, Chairman of the Committee Mr. Agbodike directed the NIHSA Director General and his team to re-present the 2023 Appropriation performance and the 2024 budget proposal on Monday for further legislative scrutiny.

Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Safiya Wada

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