ICYMI: Reps to investigate ‘257 duplicated projects’ in 2021 budget

The house of representatives has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate allegations of 257 duplicated projects worth N20.138 billion in the 2021 budget.

At Thursday plenary session, the lower legislative chamber also asked its committees on anti-corruption and public service to probe the issues of nominal rolls, payroll padding, and fake employment in all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including employment waivers granted by the office of head of service.

The resolution of the green chamber followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Dachung Bagos, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Plateau state.

While speaking on the floor of the house, Bagos drew the attention of his colleagues to a report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which accused some MDAs of duplication of 257 projects in the 2021 budget.

The lawmaker lamented that the “corrupt practices” have denied the federal government revenue which would have been used for economic development and capital projects.

“The corrupt practices are carried out in all facets of the activities of the MDAs, with the highest list been the issue of payroll padding and ghost workers’ retention, these funds find their way into the pockets of the chief executives, officers/heads of the MDAs at the expense of the nation,” he said.

Contributing to the debate, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said it is an “indictment on our committees” if the allegations are true because they ought to have done a thorough work by painstakingly scrutinising the budget before approval.

“If for a fact that 257 projects were duplicated, then we have not done our job thoroughly,” he said.

The motion was unanimously adopted when put to a voice vote by Gbajabiamila.


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