OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has directed the Budget Office of the Federation to submit details of the utilisation of the $36million World Bank loan it received without appropriation in the 2019 budget.
Chairman of the House committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Oluwole Oke, gave the directive on Thursday in Abuja during the budget defence session with the Budget Office of the Federation.
The committee said it was yet to receive the 2018 and 2019 financial audit reports and charged the Budget Office to furnish them with all relevant documents in relation to the agreement with the $36million world Bank loan.
According to the committee chairman, “our position as a committee is that based on our findings, we discovered that the agency is not working as they ought to.
“We don’t want such and we don’t have to be petty on this issue. We should rather speak with facts”.
Speaking further, Mr. Oke stressed that the 9th Assembly is on the same page with President Muhammadu Buhari to wage war against corruption.
Members of the committee frowned at the refusal of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to appear before the committee despite several invitations.
“I think we should inform the Speaker on this matter because our constitutional right has been breached,” said the deputy chairman of the committee, Mr. Abdulkadir Abdullahi.
In his ruling, Mr. Oke ordered the appearance of the Head of Service, Minister of Finance among others concerned on Tuesday and Thursday to make further clarification.
“We want the director of the office or budget office to appear before this committee.
“We’re civil and mindful. We don’t attack, oppress people that are here before us. We speak with facts”, he said.
He however called for the need for the agency and the national assembly to synergize for the betterment of the country.
Earlier, the Director General of Budget Office the Federation, Ben Akabueze, argued that the letter directed to the minister that the agency was underfunded was not based on facts but on allegations.
“Your letter didn’t say the agency was underfunded. That the agency is underfunded is not what I can accept. The World Bank loan was appropriated in the last budget”, Akabueze responded.
Earlier this year, the National Assembly had requested the World Bank for support to fight poverty and shore up development in the country.