By Tordue Salem
ABUJAâ€”The House of Representatives Committee on Police has queried the Nigeria Police Force over a monthly expenditure of N12.1billion as personnel cost since January this year.
Mr A.S Iyaji, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of budget had submitted to the committee the 2009 budget performance, which contained N12.1billion as amount being paid monthly as personnel cost.
But the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP/Bauchi State) disagreed with the mode of expenditure, wondering why there was no disparities in the releases made, even with reports of dead and retire police personnel.
According to Ningi, â€œMr Deputy Commissioner budget, why is your releases for personnel cost is consistently N12billion from January to date, whereas there are cases when about 2,0 30 policemen are killed in a month, and others retiredâ€.
“We have instances where policemen are get killed or die naturally but their salaries are still being paid but the families of the deceased are not getting the money, the money is being hijacked by the bureaucrats,â€ he declared.
However, Mr Iyaji denied the allegation, saying that in the documents submitted to the committee, there was variation in releases to the various police formation in the country.
According to him, the police budget only had list of personnel submitted by the heads of various police commands and that in each of the commands there are auditors to cross check any payment made.
Iyaji also told the committee that the Nigeria Police Force has only N145.5bn out of the N204bn appropriated for the 2009 fiscal year.
However, he said N59.4billion is still outstanding, stressing thatÂ N121.3billion was for personnel cost, N15.9 billion for capital and N9.019billion for over head cost.
Also, he revealed that N3.5billion has been released for the seven cities security pilot scheme programme but added that the money is still with the Ministry of Police Affairs.
According to him, N172.2 billion was budgeted for the personnel cost, N10.8billion for overhead cost, N21.3billion capital expenditure and N10.8 billion for overhead.
But the Committee members said they were not satisfied with the explanation offered by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of budget and summons the Minister of Police Affairs ,Dr Yakubu Lame and the Inspector General of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo to appear before the committee.