By Henry Umoru – Abuja
THE Senate has begun a holistic investigation into how the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) spent N200 million on ‘Security Votes’ without budgetary provision.
The Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo South led Senate Committee on Public Accounts is relying on 2016 report of Auditor General for the Federation.
In its response, NDLEA said,” there was no enough allocation for security vote and being Agency that carry out most of its activities on information and intelligence, the management has no option than to make provison from its recurrent allocation for security and information from sub-head.
The query read, “A sum of N169,336,264.36 (One hundred and sixty-nine million, three hundred and thirty-six thousand, two hundred and sixty-four naira, thirty-six kobo) 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 “
In another query, the agency spent N135 million on Security vote against N103 million budgeted which resulted into N32 million excess.
The query read, ” The sum of N135,301,756.93 (One hundred and thirty-five million, three hundred and one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six naira, ninety-three kobo) was spent by the Agency as against the sum of N103,216,923.00 (One hundred and three million, two hundred and sixteen thousand, nine hundred and twenty-three naira) appropriated,. This resulted in excess expenditure of N32,084,833.93 (Thirty-two million, eighty-four thousand, eight hundred and thirty-three naira, ninety-three kobo) 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.”
The agency in its response said, ” There was no excess spending of security votes as claimed by the Auditors , in 2016 year of assessment the sum of N103 million was spent that year leaving untilized balance of N785,189.57 “