February 4, 2023



Expertise acquisition: Senate indicts Labour Ministry on ‘N208million rip-off’

The Senate by its Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC) has indicted the Ministry of Labour and Employment on alleged N208million rip-off from N2.3billion collected for fee of beneficiaries of Expertise Acquisition at zonal degree.

The rip-off as found by the committee throughout an interface with Everlasting Secretary of Labour Ministry, Ms Kachollom S. Dajua, on Friday, was carried out by forgery of signatures of purported contributors.

Everlasting Secretary of the Ministry had in her submission advised the committee that the programme was organised in any respect the six zones of the Federation in 2021 with N35 million for every zone other than South East which is N32 million and that the fund used to fund the programme was drawn from Service Huge Vote (SWV).

She mentioned the Ministry collected N2.3 billion from Service Huge Vote from 2017 to 2021 out of which N1.146 billion was meant for Capital whereas N1.162 billion was meant for recurrent expenditure so far as the programme was involved.

She nevertheless, bumped into bother waters with lists of contributors offered to the committee on account of alleged signatures forgery.

The committee headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), noticed that few individuals signed for contributors to gather their stipends throughout the six geo-political zones even because the Ministry didn’t make accessible their cellphone numbers for required verification.

The Committee Chairman particularly, puzzled how hundreds of thousands of naira by way of money, had been paid to purported beneficiaries of the programme as a substitute of financial institution transfers.

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He pointedly mentioned that Character of the signatures of purpirted contributors submitted, seems to be the identical with completely different names.

“These signatures can’t stand forensic take a look at if subjected for that goal. Moreover, the cash should have been paid straight into the accounts of purported beneficiaries who primarily based on lists earlier than us, had one individual signing for his or her fee.

“That is clear violation of E- fee and never acceptable,” he mentioned.

Efforts made by the Everlasting Secretary for clearer explanations proved abortive as she didn’t persuade the committee members.

Assortment and spending of the Service Huge Vote (SWV), by MDAs, has been topic of investigation by the Senate Public Accounts as a result of failure to topic the expenditure to the scrutiny of Auditor Basic of the Federation Workplace earlier than expenditure.