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Reps query power ministry over N7bn extra-budgetary spending

The House of Representatives Monday alleged that the Federal Ministry of Power was involved in an extra budgetary spending to the tune of N7 billion.

The House also queried the alleged deposit N2 billion in Aso Savings and Loans Plc by the ministry in 2013 without any record provided to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Hon. Wole Oke, who issued the query Monday at its investigation, described the expenditure by the ministry as extra budgetary and also demanded the 2015 appropriation of the ministry.
Oke also sought to know from the management of Aso Savings and Loans Limited the N2 billion deposited with them by the ministry of power since 2013, which the ministry said was meant for staff housing scheme.
While testifying before the committee, the Permanent Pecretary in the Federal Ministry of Power, Didi Esther Wilson-Jack explained that the N7 billion, was meant for the Kashimbila hydropower project and given to the ministry as special intervention.
She said even though the money was not contained in the ministry’s budget for that year, it was a special intervention fund released to the ministry by the government and was therefore outside the ministry’s budget.
The Permanent Secretary said the ministry got the approval of the Accountant General of the Federation to lodge the money in the four affected banks.
According to her, shortly after the introduction of the Treasury Single Account by the government, the money was moved from the commercial banks to the TSA account of the ministry.

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