Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNationalCOVID 19 funds: Reps query CMD over N949m contract

COVID 19 funds: Reps query CMD over N949m contract

The House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee on Monday queried the utilisation of N949m released by the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation to the Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital for intervention in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Bamidele Salam, at the resumed investigative hearing on the matter at the National Assembly Complex, queried the CMD of the health institution, Prof Henry Ugboma, on the transparency in the utilisation of the funds.

The Committee Chairman had requested from the CMD all documents relating to all the releases of funds by the OAGF, the contracts awarded, as well as approvals from the Federal Executive Council and the Bureau of Public Procurement.

This is just as the lawmaker added that OAGF released to the hospital management more funds than what was appropriated to it by the National Assembly.


The lawmaker and some other committee members also questioned the CMD about the amount of funds released in 2020 and 2021, stressing that the Accountant-General didn’t provide them with the needed information on the issue during the investigation.

In a presentation to the panel, the CMD admitted that the the hospital management received the sum of N949m in five tranches.

The Committee Chairman after going through the documents on the released funds noted that the amount released to the hospital was bigger than what was appropriated in the annual budget.

The House Committee also queried the utilisation of the N60bn released to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency by the OAGF for the same period, as members branded the projects the agency claimed it spent the funds on as “fictitious.”

The Managing Director of the agency, Emeka Agabasi, had told the committee that the agency had undertaken 192 projects in the six geopolitical zones and completed 186, with only six left uncompleted.

He said that the six zones had benefited from the road projects undertaken by the agency in the following order: North-Central 34, North-West 30, South-West 32, South-South 34, South-East 27 and North-East 35.

Salam was, however, not impressed with the documents submitted by the FERMA boss, saying, “We have only five copies of the documents we requested. We have more than thirty members here. So, even if you give us 11 copies, it will still not be sufficient for the investigation.”

After deliberation by committee members, Salam said the committee will tour FERMA projects across the federation for which the funds were utilised.

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