Senate gives Interior Ministry 24 hours to account for N700million Service Wide Vote
The Senate yesterday gave the Ministry of Interior 24 hours to defend the N700 million it collected from Service Wide Vote (SWV) for the monitoring of the Edo and Ondo states’ governorship elections.
From the record of the Auditor General for the Federation, the money was released in two batches – N400 million for the Ondo State Governorship election and N300 million for the Edo State governorship election.
According to the Authority to Incur Expenditure, the N400 million was given to the Ministry of Interior for logistics and operational support in respect of Ondo State Governorship election.
Part of the report read, “The second of N300 million to the Ministry of Interior for logistic and operational support in respect of the Edo State Governorship election.”
The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide gave the directive to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. S. Belgore.
The ministry had earlier given an excuse that the N700 million would be accounted for by the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NSDC).
According to the Permanent Secretary, “It is the NSDC that will account for the money. We only made the request on behalf of the NSDC.”
Not satisfied with the defence of the Permanent Secretary, the Chairman of the Committee said the excuse was not tenable because the NSDC did not collect the money, maintaining that it was the Ministry that collected the money.
He added that the NSDC would only come before the Committee to account for the money requested personally from the Service Wide Vote.
Urhoghide said, “The NSDC have their own queries , they are coming before the Panel to respond to the one that bears their names, they have the money given to them directly
“From our records, it is your ministry that will defend the expenditures not NSDC.”
The Chairman therefore gave the Ministry 24 hours to defend the N700 million for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
“You have 24 hours to make your report available to us, we must get explanation from you,” he added.