Senate C’tee Berates NNRA over N367m Unapproved Spending

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) wednesday expressed displeasure over an unapproved expenditure of N367 million by the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) from N490 million Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the last 11 months.

The Chairman, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, spoke when the management of the agency appeared before the committee for the budget defence, noting that only N122.6 million was remitted to the federation account.

The N490 million was degenerated by the agency between January and November 2017.
Alasoadura further noted that the documents submitted by the management of the agency led by the Director General, Mr. Lawrence Dim, did not provide details of the expenditure.

“In preparing this, there is no key to show why 25 per cent is remitted and you did not show the balance. What did you do with the balance because it is not captured in the budget?
I know what the law says but in preparing your budget, you should be explicit about why you remit only 25 per cent of your IGR. Where is the balance? Did we appropriate that money? We didn’t appropriate it,” Alasoadura said.

Senator Baba Kaka Garbai observed that the by spending money not appropriated by the National Assembly, the management of the agency has violated fiscal responsibility regulations and the constitution.

“You must have the approval of the National Assembly before spending the IGR. What you have done is an infraction of the law that provides that no money is spent without being appropriated for,” Garbai said.

Documents submitted by the NNRA of the IGR provided a breakdown of the IGR and remittances to the federation account to include: January: generated N49 million remitted N12.2 million; February: N23.8 million, remitted N5.9 million; March: N33.3 million, remitted N8.3 million; April: N25.6 million, remitted N6.4 million; May: N33.1 million, remitted N8.2 million, June N20.1 million generated while N5 million was remitted.

In July 2017, the NNRA generated N44 million, remitted N11 million; August: N47 million generated, N11.7 million remitted; September: N37 million, remitted N9.2 million; October N50.5 million and remitted N12.6 million and in November N126.5 million was generated while N31 million was remitted to federal coffers.

Dim, in his response, gave the assurance that he would provide details of the expenditure.
He told the committee that the law allows the NNRA to expend 75 per cent of its IGR, for its activities.