The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has commenced investigation of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission for spending N1.19bn in the 2018 and 2019 financial years without appropriation by the National Assembly.
The probe is based on an audit query issued in the report the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation, while allegingthat the NIPC had an approved budget of N194m in 2018 and N180.6m in 2019 but spent N700m and N871m in those years, respectively.
The query partly read, “N180.6 million was budgeted for overhead cost in the year 2019, but NIPC ended up spending N871 million, excluding depreciation, without the approval of the National Assembly. There was extra-budgetary spending on overhead in the year 2018 without supplementary approval from the National Assembly: N194 million appropriated but NIPC spent over N700 million.”
The committee consequently ordered the management of the NIPC, which is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to explain the expenditure the expenditure.
Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, directed the NIPC to provide the National Assembly’s approval to spend N690m.
The committee is also investigating the Commission for re-awarding a contract for the supply and installation of 50 units of computer sets at the cost of N28.9m when an upward review of the same contract demanded by the original contractor was N27.6m.
The query alleged that the contract was awarded to Digital Communication Konsult at the cost of N22.5m in 2020, but repudiated the contract as that the contractor requested for upward review to N27.6m due to unstable exchange rates. However, the contract was later re-awarded to Dotmac Technologies Limited at the cost of N28.9m.
The query asked the Executive Secretary of the NIPC to explain why the Commission was not implementing the provisions of the Pensions Reform Act, which stipulated 18 per cent contribution, wondering why but the agency was implementing 15 per cent.
A 223-page document presented by NIPC to the committee showed that as of December 31, 2019, that there was a personnel cost budget of N500m and actual of N349,750,700.50; overhead budget of N966m and actual of N749,811,184.32; and a capital budget of N149 million and actual of N91,123,865.07.