Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives Monday ordered nine Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to refund a total of N14.3billion being excess expenditure incurred by them in the 2006 fiscal year.
The affected MDAs include Federal Capital Territory Authority, Ministry of Police Affairs, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Industry and Federal Ministry of Communication.
Others on the list are Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Nigeria Agriculture and Cooperative Bank as well as Federal Character Commission.
Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola said the decision stemmed from the querries raised against these MDAs in the report of the Auditor General for the Federation for the year ended 31st December 2006.
The Committee had last week examined the queries on Excess Capital Expenditure involving 22 MDAs including the National Assembly and set up sub-committees to further investigate the matter.
Adeola disclosed that an audit of the accounts of these MDAs revealed excess expenditure on their capital votes. He said that the Committee ordered the refund of these excess expenditure because the affected agencies have shunned the invitation of the parliament to appear before it and defend themselves three consecutive times.
According to Adeola, the PAC did not only write to the concerned organisations but had also used the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to reach out to them on the need to defend their actions.
Available statistics showed that the Ministry of Police Affairs and Nigeria Polic Force led the pack of excess expenditure offenders with a whooping N6.05billion.
It is closely followed by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) which incurred an excess expenditure of N1.96billion and Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation which incurred N1.5billion.
Others in the extra-budgetary expenditure league include Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism, N1.084billion and Federal Character Commission which had N1.082billion standing against it.
Adeola expressed dismay that these MDAs were indicted by the report of the Auditor General and have refused to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to give their own side of the story.
He said that the PAC may be forced to subponea the heads of the various agencies to compel them to honour the summon of the parliament.