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Tuesday, 21 November 2023 06:34

Reps probe N447b Covid-19 spending, summon 83 MDAs

THE House of Representatives has summoned 83 ministries, departments, and agencies of the Federal Government as it begins an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of over N447.6bn Covid-19 intervention fund from 2020 to 2022.

Checks in the budgets of the MDAs showed that at least 22 of them got not less than N447.6bn as COVID-19 funds in 2020 alone.

This implies that the COVID-19 intervention fund from 2020 to 2022 was way higher than the N447.6bn received by less than half the number of MDAs invited by the House of Representatives for the probe slated to begin from November 27, 2023, and end on December 4.

The House invited the Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security, Communications and Digital Economy, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and scores of other Ministries, Department and Agencies.

The MDAs are to appear before the lawmakers to answer questions on alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds distributed among them to fight the global health pandemic.

In an invitation issued by the Chairman of the Committee and a member representing Ede North/Ede South Federal Constituency, Osun State, Bamidele Salam, dated November 20, 2023, the lawmakers asked each of the MDAs to be represented by their “Chief Accounting Officers, Head of Finance, Head of Procurement and any other relevant officer to defend the expenditure contained in their various submissions.”

To appear before the Committee on Monday, November 27, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, FERMA, Federal Ministries of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Others include the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mines and Steel Development, Water Resources, Health, National Hospital, Abuja, and National Directorate of Employment.

On Tuesday, November 28, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are expected to appear before the committee for the exercise.

Also billed to appear on Tuesday are the Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, Federal Fire Service, Rural Electrification Agency, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, National Commission on for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Offices, Abuja, and the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State.

On Wednesday, November 29, it will be the turn of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Lagos State; National Eye Centre, Kaduna State; National Ear Centre, Kaduna State; Ministries of Aviation, Industry, Trade and Investment; Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State; Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja; Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi; Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State; Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State; as well as those in Katsina, Nguru, Yobe State, Asaba, Delta State and Gusau, Zamfara State.


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