From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to investigate N96.19 billion special intervention funds given to agencies between 2015- 2020.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Finance to undertake the probe and report back to it for further legislative action.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Henry Nwawuba on the “need to investigate the disbursement of special funds public interventions received by agencies of the federal government.”
Nwawuba, in his motion, noted that the Federal Government has reverted to external and internal borrowings to augment domestic savings, balance of payment deficits, and shortfalls in revenue.
The lawmaker added that government has also been borrowing quite substantially to fund projects, as well as make interventions in government agencies.
He listed intervention paid to agencies between 2015 to 2020 to include N7.6 billion Special Intervention MDGs in 2015; N22.4 billion Contingency; N7.2 billion MDG Special Projects; N39.9 billion Special Intervention 2020; N3 billion Special Intervention/Constituency Projects and N15 billion Capital Contingency.
Nwawuba explained that other interventions included National Water Rehabilitation Project, National Agricultural Technology Programmes, and salary bailouts to states, payment for fertiliser, State Water Supply Project, State Agriculture Project and FADAMA project.
The lawmaker expressed concern that despite the interventions, citizens were still facing untold hardship. He added that despite the huge loans obtained by government to boost the economy, the country has slipped into the second recession in five years.
Nwawuba, while expressing worry that the National Assembly was not aware of the interventions, as they were not captured in appropriation law, said agencies in charge of disbursing the funds were allegedly unable to give proper account of how the monies were utilised.
He called for the intervention of the House, noting that alleged fraudulent practices by agencies were sabotaging government efforts and, if left unchecked, may lead to total collapse of the economy.