From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has queried the National Population Commission (NPC) over N1.9 billion expended on stakeholders summits across the country ahead of the 2023 population and housing census.
Its Committee on Population issued the query when the chairman of NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, appeared before it to defend the agency’s 2023 budget proposal.
The lawmakers also directed the commission to furnish it with details of the mock census conducted recently.
The NPC was also directed to provide details of the N5.2 billion spent on the mock census, giving a state-by-state breakdown.
The NPC boss was represented by Federal Commissioner representing Kastina State, Bala Banye at the meeting.
A member of the committee, Chudy Momah, observed that the N1.9 billion was not captured in the document submitted to the committee by the NPC. He said it was imperative for the commission to furnish the parliament with details of all its expenditure.
Said Momah: “In addition to the detailed expenditure pattern that we are asking for, I move that the Commission furnish this committee with a separate document that explains the expenditure pattern of that presidential summit carried out at the Villa and the ones held at the 36 states and how much was expended at each level, at state, zonal, local.
“And also for the mock trial of the census. They should also provide the expenditure pattern of the N5.2 billion spent on the mock census, detailing it state by state. So we can know the details and how much was expended at the state level.”
Another member of the committee, Gboluga Ikengbogu, in a motion called on lawmakers to reject the 2022 performance report of the NPC until all details of expenditure were provided.
“The 2022 budget performance cannot be accepted now. The commission must go back and provide more details. We cannot sit down here and speculate over numbers and tax payers money,” he said.
The motion was adopted by the committee.