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Reps begin N183.9bn COVID-19 funds mismanagement probe

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The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, on Monday, kicked off a full-scale probe into the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds by ministries, departments and agencies of government.

A member of House of Representatives, Nyampa Zakari, had in October moved a motion for the probe of MDAs, accusing them of mismanaging funds totalling N183.9bn meant to address  COVID-19 pandemic from 2020-2023.

Addressing the opening session, the chairman of the committee, Bamidele Salam, warned MDAs that the committee would not listen to pleas for an extension of time.

He said, “The committee is probing over 60 MDAs over several billions of naira intervention funds allocated to them during the COVID-19 and we have given them enough time to prepare for this exercise.

“The committee will not entertain any extension of time from any of the MDAs. The committee is not after any individual or groups, we are going to be diligent in carrying out our assignment.”

The lawmaker charged the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to make available relevant and competent personnel to assist the committee in delivering on its assignment.

Some of the MDAs that appeared before the committee on Monday included Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospitals Bauchi, Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Road Maintenance Agency among others.

The committee directed the Chief Medical Director of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital,  Prof Yusuf Jubrin, to reappear before it on Thursday with relevant documents to back up the funds released to the institution to fight the pandemic.

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