Reps query CMD over COVID-19 funds (949M)

Reps query CMD over COVID-19 funds (949M)

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Reps query CMD over COVID-19 funds (949M)

House of Representative

Reps query CMD over COVID-19 funds (949M). The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives questioned the use of N949 million issued by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to the Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital for COVID-19 pandemic intervention on Monday.

At the resumed investigation hearing on the topic at the National Assembly Complex, the Chairman of the House Committee, Bamidele Salam, questioned the CMD of the health institution, Prof Henry Ugboma, on the transparency in the utilisation of the monies.

The Committee Chairman has demanded all papers relating to all OAGF fund releases, contracts issued, and permissions from the Federal Executive Council and the Bureau of Public Procurement from the CMD.

This comes as the senator noted that the OAGF gave to hospital administration cash in excess of what the National Assembly had approved.

The legislator and other committee members also questioned the CMD about the amount of cash issued in 2020 and 2021, claiming that the Accountant-General failed to give them with the necessary information during the probe.

In a presentation to the commission, the CMD revealed that the hospital management got N949 million in five installments.

After reviewing the paperwork on the released monies, the Committee Chairman noted that the amount given to the hospital was greater than what was budgeted in the yearly budget.

The House Committee also questioned the utilization of the N60 billion provided by the OAGF to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency for the same period, with members labeling the projects the agency claimed it spent the cash on as “fictitious.”

Emeka Agabasi, the agency’s Managing Director, told the committee that the agency has undertaken 192 projects across the six geopolitical zones and completed 186 of them, leaving only six unfinished.

He stated that the following six zones had benefited from the agency’s road projects: North-Central 34, North-West 30, South-West 32, South-South 34, South-East 27 and North-East 35.

Salam, on the other hand, was unimpressed with the documents given by the FERMA head, stating, “We only have five copies of the documents we requested.” We have over thirty people here. So, even if you provide us 11 copies, it won’t be enough for the investigation.”

Salam stated that after committee members deliberated, the group will tour FERMA projects around the federation for which money were used.


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