House Of Reps Probes N300 Billion Power And Aviation Fund

House Of Reps Probes N300 Billion Power And Aviation Fund

By The Nation on February 19, 2014

House of Representatives is concerned over the manner with which the N300billion Power and Aviation Intervention Fund (PAIF) is fast dwindling, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said yesterday.

He said it was regrettable that the fund, established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had shrunk from N300billion to N100billion.

Tambuwal assured that the ad hoc committee on the disbursement of public funds by the Bank of Industry (BOI), mandated to find out how the fund was being disbursed, would do a thorough job.

The Speaker noted that it was the responsibility of the legislature to ensure that the public funds were not subjected to waste or corruption.

He said: “We will devote attention to situations where the actions of government or any of its agencies infringe on the constitution. By some accounts, the volume of this fund, which originally amounted to about N300billion, has dwindled to less than N100billion.

“Officials claim that over N200billion has been disbursed through deposit money banks to certain individuals and corporate organisations without following due process.

“You will agree with me that we have a serious issue here, which falls within the precincts of the constitutional mandate given to the National Assembly that revenues belonging to the federation must be paid into the consolidated revenue fund. Withdrawals therein shall only be carried out solely upon the authority of an Act of the National Assembly.

“It is the mandate of the legislature to ensure that where funds are so authorised to be withdrawn, they are not subjected to waste, corruption, or inefficiency. Section 88 of the 1999 constitution makes it mandatory for the National Assembly to protect the interest of the citizens and the tax payers, with respect to the use of public funds.”

According to the Speaker, the National Assembly should not be ignored on its resolve to use the instrumentality of the constitution to correct the anomaly.

“In this vein, we shall not hesitate to recommend appropriate sanctions where any such violation has been deemed to have occurred. However, we shall not pursue every rumour of misdeed or subject government officials to unnecessary harassment either,” he said.

Yakubu Dogara, who chairs the ad hoc committee, said agitation from quarters that the disbursement of the fund did not follow due process, was responsible for the investigation.

“In this process, specialised views and expert opinions are sought in a way that fully erases all time-inconsistencies as well as making-up for informed dynamics and complexities, which occur as a result of changing times,” he added.

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