•To pay foreign attache N425 to $1 exchange rate, against FG’s N410

By Levinus Nwabughiogu, ABUJA

Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said yesterday that his office proposed N36 million in the 2022 budget to combat antelopes, snakes and other reptiles that trouble them.

He also said his office would incur extra charges in the payment of personnel attached to Nigeria’s foreign missions and embassies, which will affect the proposed N410 to  $1  dollar exchange rate by the federal government in the budget to N425 to a dollar.

Idris disclosed this at a budget defence session with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.

The office proposed a total of N10.470 billion for the 2022 fiscal year.

But identifying N36 million earmarked for fumigation in the budget, the committee asked Idris to defend it and offer more explanations, noting that the allocation to the item might be higher.

READ ALSO: Budget 2022: OBJ, Jonathan, Abubakar, others allocated N2. 3 billion

In his response, Idris explained that the office had other offices in the 36 states of the federation, in addition to its zonal offices in the six geopolitical zones, headquarters and a treasury academy in Abuja.

He said the funds would help them to adequately fumigate, especially the academy surrounded by bushes with antelopes and snakes.

He said: “Cleaning and Fumigation which is proposed at about 36 million, we have offices in all the States of the federation. We have six zonal offices. We have our own headquarters.

‘’We have the federal treasury academy which is an institution with a.lot of bushes. Now, even at an average of one million per annum for fumigating these offices, I think that amount proposed is grossly low.

“The point I am trying to make is that the figure is not high. With 36 offices in all the states of the federation with six zonal offices, with our headquarters, with an institution which is bigger than most of the private universities we see with a lot bushes and forest because we occupy an expanse of land with about 70 to 80 hectares with buildings around, with snakes around, reptiles.

‘’There was even a time they were killing antelopes within our premises. They said they thought it was a lion.”

Similarly, the accountant-general also revealed that his office had taken the responsibility of paying foreign attachees which prompted a difference of “N15 to the official exchange rate of N410 to $1.

According to him, that is the reason the budget went up for the 2022 fiscal year.

Chairman of the committee, James Faleke, had picked holes in the proposal, demanding explanations.

The development caused an exchange between both of them, with the committee frowning on the proposal, saying the office of the AGF could not flout the laws of the land.

However, the committee resolved to invite the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Goodwin Emefiele for more clarifications.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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