The House of Representatives has mandated its standing committees to thoroughly investigate the non-implementation, incessant abuse and disregard of the 2021 Appropriation Act by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government.
The House mandated its committees on finance and appropriation to liaise with the ministry of finance for the purposes of ascertaining releases made to MDAs in compliance with the 2021 Appropriation Act.
The lawmakers’ resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Moving the motion, Elumelu notes that section 80-84 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, confers powers of appropriation on parliament, as well as its oversight responsibilities over the national purse.
He said the House is aware that section 80(4) of the constitution specifically states that no money shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund or any other public fund of the federation except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.
He expressed concerns that though, between 40 and 60 per cent of funds have been released for purposes of implementing the 2021 Appropriation Act, yet most of the MDAs are yet to dispense these funds for the purposes they are meant for.
He further expressed concerns that some of the MDAs are alleged to have engaged in financial misappropriation by diverting such funds for other unrelated purposes thereby frustrating the government macroeconomic framework, while others are in outright denial of not receiving such releases.
While noting that these alleged practices outright violates the dictates of sections 80-84 of the 1999 constitution as amended and frustrates the implementation of government policies, Elumelu added that if these alleged corrupt practices are not put in check, the perceived fight against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari would be discredited in the eyes of Nigerians and that of the international community.
Adopting the motion, the lawmakers gave all the standing committees two weeks to conclude the assignment and report back for further legislative action.