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 “

ALSO READ: NDLEA intercepts 1.5m tramadol tablets, other drugs trafficked from Lagos to Kebbi, Kano

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 “

Vanguard News Nigeria

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