By Ben Agande & Emman Ovuakporie
…as N4.7m for annual office partitioning, N11.8m unaccounted for
ABUJA- Bureau for Public Service Reforms, BPSR, was, Tuesday, lampooned over bogus claims in the 2012 budget proposal. House of Representatives Committee on Reform of Government Institutions accused the agency of lacking transparency in the utilisation of funds approved and released to it in last year’s budget.
Speaking during a budget defence by BPSR, a member of the committee, Linus Okorie, challenged the Permanent Secretary of the Bureau, Mrs Nkechi Ejele, to explain what her agency did with the N11.8 million released to it last year for the purchase of vehicles.
She was also asked to defend the N4.7 million released yearly to the agency for office partitioning. The lawmaker said he did not understand why the agency should be partitioning its office on a yearly basis when there was no record of increased employment.
Another lawmaker, Friday Itulah, asked Mrs Ejele to explain the inconsi-stencies in the Bureau’s 2012 budget proposal.
He asked the Permanent Secretary to explain what the agency did with the N11.8 million released to it to procure new vehicles since there was no record that it actually bought those vehicles.
Mrs Ejele, who was obviously disturbed by the comments and questions from the lawmakers, sought intervention from her Director of Finance to address some of the questions.
The Director, however, aggravated the matter as he failed to defend his submission that the N11.8 million was used to buy two vehicles.
When reminded that he had earlier said the Bureau only had old vehicles in its fleet, he kept quiet. At this juncture, Chairman of the committee, Mr. Matthew Omegara, intervened and ordered the committee to go back and rework the budget proposal to accommodate issues raised by his colleagues.
He said the committee would not approve a proposal fraught with inconsistencies. On completion of work on the proposal, he advised the Bureau to send the final work to his office.