House probes Budget Office for alleged breach of appropriation law

Photo Credit: Nigerian Newspaper

The House of Representatives on Wednesday commenced investigation into an alleged breach of appropriation laws by the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.

The lawmakers accused Mr. Akabueze of issuing a directive to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to return N8 billion to the federal treasury.

The allegation was brought to the attention of the House by Agbedi Frederick, a PDP member from Bayelsa State, under matters of urgent national concern.

Mr. Frederick said he observed that Mr. Akabueze, in blatant violation of budget provisions, had ordered FERMA to return N8 billion out of the N10 billion so far released to the agency for road maintenance this year.

The lawmaker said the parliament approved N21.8 billion for FERMA to carry out maintenance of dilapidated roads across the country as a matter of urgency.

But through the directive, Mr. Akabueze had effectively hindered the agency from carrying out its duties as required across the country, the lawmaker said

“The directive from the Director-General cannot be said to be virement as virement can only be appropriately approved by the National Assembly, which has not done so in this case,” Mr. Frederick said.

Consequently, the House raised an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter and revert within a week.

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