Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has said that the federal legislature did not indict the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, for alleged financial impropriety in respect to the 2020 budget of her office.
The chairman, House Committee on SDGs, Rotimi Agunsoye, said it is imperative to set the record straight following report of an alleged row over N33 billion SDGs vote in the 2020 Appropriation Act.\
Agunsoye explained that the committee had sent a correspondence to the Ministry of Finance seeking clarification in respect to the N33 billion as records from the SDGs office indicate that there was no appropriation for the money.
According to him, ‘a correspondence was sent to the Finance Ministry in respect the subject matter, upon which clarification was sought from the SDGs office without any indictment on the person or the office of the SSA-SDGs, indicating misappropriation of the 2020 budgetary allocation of her office.
‘The House Committee on SDGs got records from the OSSAP-SDGs and Appropriation committee which shows the said additional 33 billion was not appropriated for SDGs office among provisions of the 2020 budget earlier assented to by Mr President upon which we all know the prevalence of Covid-19 distorted implementation of entire 2020 budget.’
The lawmaker added that ‘the legislature is determined to ensure adequate oversight of all appropriated for the implementation of SDGs programmes in all ministries and agencies of government as well captured, as soon as we get adequate correspondence from the House appropriation committee to further ascertain fund release in order to guide our oversight activities. Hence, the recent official correspondence from both Senate and House SDGs committees to the finance ministry to release the budget provisions of OSSAP-SDGs so as to enable our committee to oversight accordingly.’