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Senate Probes NDLEA Over ‘Unapproved’ Spending

Senate Probes NDLEA Over ‘Unapproved’ Spending

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Senate Probes NDLEA Over ‘Unapproved’ Spending
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SENATE HAS STARTED ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE NATIONAL DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (NDLEA).
The senate commenced its investigation on NDLEA for carrying out spending it tagged as ‘security votes’ without appropriation by the National Assembly.
The investigation follows audit queries issued against the NDLEA in the ‘Auditor-General for the Federation’s Annual Report on Non-Compliance/Internal Control Weaknesses Issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Year Ended 31st December, 2019.’
The Acting Auditor-General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, had presented the report to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Ojo Amos, on September 15, 2021, while the Senate and House Committees on Public Accounts began investigation of the queries.
In its written response to the query, the NDLEA however said, “There was no enough allocation for security vote and being (an) agency that carries out most of its activities on information and intelligence, the management had no option but to make provision from its recurrent allocation for security and information from sub-head.”
The query read in part, “A sum of N169,336,264.36 was spent on Security Votes in 2015. Further examination of the agency’s budget for that year revealed that there was no appropriation for Security Vote by the National Assembly.
“The Chairman/Chief Executive should produce the authority for this expenditure or recover the sum of N169,336,264.36 and forward relevant details for verification.”
Another query said NDLEA spent N135m on security votes against the N103m that was budgeted, resulting in N32m excess.
The query read in part, “The sum of N135,301,756.93 was spent by the agency, as against the sum of N103,216,923.00 appropriated. This resulted in excess expenditure of N32,084,833 on security vote for the year 2016, contrary to the provision of Financial Regulation 313 which states that ‘No expenditure on any subhead of the recurrent estimates in excess of the provision in the approved estimates or supplementary estimates may be authorised by any officer controlling a vote without approval of the National Assembly.’
“Financial Regulation 419 also states that ‘officers controlling votes are solely liable for unauthorised expenditure in excess of the sum allocated. The Chairman/Chief Executive should justify the excess expenditure of N32,084,833.93.”
However, the NDLEA, in its written response, said, “There was no excess spending of security votes as claimed by the auditors in 2016 year of assessment; the sum of N103m was spent that year leaving untilised balance of N785,189.57.”

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