Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Monday, queried the Mass Literacy, Adult and Special Education Commission for failing to utilise the sum of N220million released to it as part of its 2019 capital budget.
The House Committee on Diaspora, at a 2020 budget defence session with the agency, observed that the agency had utilised only N8million naira, representing less than five percent of the N220million released to it last month.
The chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe expressed dismay that while other Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are complaining of lack of releases, the commission has failed to utilise funds made available to it.
Akande-Sadipe stated that the agency ought to have completed its procurement processes before now, so that as soon it got the money it would started its capital projects in earnest.
According to her, “I am worried, this does not sit well with me at all, maybe it’s because I am an accountant. Procurement processes ought to have been done, while you await the release of funds , by this , you have to utilise the funds as soon as it is available.
If by now, you have spent only N8 million from N220 million, how will you be able to spend the over N600 million remaining part of the budget, and you are asking for a budget of over N1 billion in the 2020 budget, you have to convince the parliament that you really need these monies, we don’t want any money sitting in the account without been used, it is not good for the country.”
The lawmaker said she will draw the attention of the House Committee on Basic Education, which is the principal agency oversighting the agency to the development.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Haladu, had told the committee that only N220million, representing 23 per cent of its capital budget, was released to the commission last month.
He added that the government has that 60 percent of the capital budget should be rolled over to the 2020 fiscal year.
“60 per cent of activity were brought to 2020 due to late releases. Budget release only took place last month, and only 23 per cent, which amounts to N220 million was disbursed to us. But because it was given to us late, we have prioritise those projects that are very germane to us, and implement before the end of the year,” Haladu stated.