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Reps query Investment Promotion Commission over N3.15bn expenditure

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Jonas Ezieke, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Thursday queried the National Investment Promotion Commission for recording an expenditure of N3.15 billion, despite submitting a revenue of N2.89 billion in the first quarter of 2024.

 

 

This was as the agency appeared before the Committee in the ongoing probe to monitor revenue by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.

The Director, Finance and Administration of the agency, Akwada James, told the committee the amount was projected expenditure for the year.

 

“Why it is that is because our income does not come at a time. So we have done committed spending in the budget for the year,” James said.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon James Faleke wondered how the agency could budget for what it had not done yet.

“The revenue collection for first quarter 2024 is 2.89b and your expenditure for that same period is 3.15b. If you are giving us revenue for a quarter, the expenditure for that quarter should be stated not the whole. How can you give me expenditure for the whole year?” the Committee Chairman queried.

James said this was a format given to them by the budget office.

“No sir, we don’t like that format here. It’s confusing. How can you tell me generated N2.8 billion and on record you spent N3.1 billion and we ask where did you get the money and who gave you the authority to spend above budget,” Faleke said.

 

 

The Committee also queried the agency for spending 20 percent of his revenue in 2023.

“A fully funded agency is supposed to remit their revenue 100 percent. So you spent money illegally.  On what authority did you approve the usage of that money?” Faleke queried.

 

James said it was based on the budget and their engagement with Ministry of Finance.

 

He said they were authorised by a letter to do so.

 

 

“I would like to see letter that authorized you to spend that 20 percent else we would charge all of you personally.

 

“We would write and ask that the money spent be deducted from your salaries until it is fully refunded. I need that letter on Monday.

 

 

“Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), I need a report of your sessions with NIPC and why they spent 20 percent of their IGR and there has not been any query from your agency,” Faleke said.

 

 

The Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Barr Victor Mururako, represented by Mrs Victoria Adizou-Angakuru, said they had not received NIPC’s audited financial statements since 2019.

 

 

Faleke directed that the Managing Director of the Commission appears before the committee on June 5, 2024 with their comprehensive records.

 

“The best approach is to invite the accountant general. In view of the contradictions, we would keep our documents and let the accountant general come and tell us what is responsible for this discrepancies for a fully funded agency,” Faleke said

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