From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, through its Public Account Committee, has launched an investigation into the Public Works Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, coordinated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in which 774,000 Nigerians were recruited with a mandate of 1,000 persons per Local Government.
The federal government earmarked N52 billion for the project in 2020 in which 774,000 Nigerians were paid N20,000 each for three months.
At the committee sitting of the Senate Public Account Committee, lawmakers gave the NDE two weeks to submit a comprehensive report of the beneficiaries of the scheme in 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The committee, which is currently investigating the expenditure of Service Wide Votes (SWV), said it discovered that NDE collected N26 billion for the scheme in 2020.
However, drama ensued at the committee meeting, as all seven senators that were present at the said that non of the constituent members benefited from the scheme.
Thompson Sekibo said that there is nobody who benefited from his senatorial district from the programme and that all names submitted by lawmakers who represent the people were not considered.
Also, Michael Nnachi said not a single person benefited from his senatorial district, adding that the NDE should make available beneficiaries from his senatorial district.
The committee members therefore unanimously agreed that the NDE should submit names, phones number, and accounts detail of the 1,000 beneficiaries in each of the 774 local governments within one week.
The representative of NDE who is a director in the agency, Isah Abdul, appealed to the committee to give the agency three weeks to compile the list of beneficiaries.
The committee declined and gave the agency two weeks to submit the list.