Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts wednesday queried the sum of N475 billion allegedly spent on the N-Power scheme between 2016 and 2020.
When asked to give account of the amount expended so far, against the claim by the agency that the sum of N474,961,312,112.42 was expended on N-Power since inception, the Assistant Director (Admin), Nsikak Okon who spoke on behalf of the N-Power National Coordinator, disclosed that the sum of N421,525,909,355 was expended so far.
Okon however observed a typographical error on the last page of the submission, adding that it was supposed to be N421,575,909,355.
He said, ‘’What happens is that if you look at October 2016, it was supposed to have terminated October to December 2016 but we had it scrolled to 2016 total giving us N56 billion. 200,000 young Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 35 were employed in the first batch of the scheme which started in June 2016, while payment commenced in December 2016. In 2016, the total sum of N3.356 billion was spent, adding that the sub-total was not stated in the documents presented to the Committee.’’
He added that total of 300,000 participated in the second batch which commenced in June 2017 thereby bringing the total to 500,000 spread across 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
When asked to present the list of all the beneficiaries, the N-Power official noted that he had printed the list of beneficiaries from three states namely: Abia, Adamawa and Akwa Ibom while others were being awaited.
He added that the agency has written the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF) on the over 11,000 N-Power beneficiaries who have not been paid since January 2020.
Worried by the inconsistency in the documents presented to the Committee and the verbal presentation made by the N-Power National Coordinator, Hon. Oke argued that the N-Power was out to “ambush the Parliament”.
“Can we see your total for 2017 financial year;can we see your total expenditure for 2018 financial year, vis-a-vis 2019 financial year and for the period of January to May 2020, can we see your exposure from this your submission?”
While ruling on the presentations made by various National Coordinators of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIPs), Oke disclosed that all the members will go to their various constituencies to verify the details of all the beneficiaries of various schemes with the view to ensuring accountability.
He also demanded for details of the salaries of the N-Power officials.