Reps to investigate Budget Office over N8bn remittance

Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation

The House of representative is set to investigate the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, over his directive to the Managing-Director of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to remit N8 billion to the treasury.

The House on Wednesday set up an Ad-hoc committee to investigate this trend and report back within one week.

The motion which came under matters of urgent national importance with the title: “Urgent need to curb a developing trend where the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation now directs Chief Executives of agencies of government to remit the treasury capital funds already released to them,” was sponsored to investigate by a member, Hon. Agbedi Frederick.

Frederick noted that the N8billion the Budget DG wanted FERMA to remit to the treasury was from the N10.3 billion already released to the agency for the execution of capital projects, leaving it with only N2.3 billion.

He said due to the compelling need for FERMA to repair and maintain dilapidated roads across the country, the National Assembly approved N21,816,546,653 out of which only N10,399,549,201 was released in October to the agency for execution of some critical capital projects which included so many failed and bad roads across the country.

He said: “FERMA has already prioritised its capital projects while it has advertised (them) in line with the procurement Act 2007 and that contractors desirous to work for the agency have spent hard earned monies to buy tender documents, which they are now bound to lose by the directive from Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation.

“The funds already released to FERMA were part of the funds already appropriated for FERMA in the Appropriation Act of 2016, passed by parliament, which is already a law, and that any amendment to this law can only be carried out by the National Assembly.

“The directive from the Director-General Budget Office of the Federation 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.