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Senate to probe utilisation of N1.7trn Service Wide Vote

Senate

By Tunde Opalana

The Senate has resolved to probe the utilisation of over N1.7 trillion Service Wide Votes allocation in the 2017-2021 budgets disbursed to Federal Government parastatals and agencies.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhogbide who made this known during the meeting of the Committee said beneficiary government agencies need to give explanation on how they utilized the fund.

According to him, Service Wide Votes is a disbursement into shortfall in capital and overheads. Also known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge, the Vote is more or less the country’s contingency fund in the annual budget and it is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“It is a huge sum of money which is kept for unforeseen expenditures. The recurrent expenditure part of the fund is what is actually referred to as the SWV, while the capital part of it is called Capital Supplementation”, he further explained.

The Chairman therefore, ordered the Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Okolieaboh Sylva, who appeared before the Committee to submit details of disbursement of Service Wide Votes as quickly as possible.

“We want you to submit details of disbursement of Service Wide Votes, let us have it as quickly as possible, please we want speed.

“The other one that concerns you is the disbursement of Service Wide Votes from 2017-2021, you have not submitted the 2021 disbursement, let us have that of 2022 as quickly as possible, the reason is because we have 797 agencies to deal with all the letters, we have decided to put them on hold until we get your report of 2021, so that we don’t start writing fresh letters on 2021 again as soon as possible.

“We need to input it into our report, let be able to know that you have exercise a level of cooperation with us, give us hard copies for our members to study.

“We have to take you first before any other agency, you will have to appear first week of our resumption,” Irhoghide told the acting Accountant General.

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Addressing journalists, the Committee chairman said the agencies need to explain how the Service Wide Votes collected have been spent adding that the Committee will need to know who authorised the disbursement of funds from Service Wide Votes, who applied for it, the authority to incure the expenditure and the supporting documents.

He said for the first time, the Senate is making inquisition into Service Wide Votes.

According to the lawmaker, his committee has made several attempts in the past years to ensure that heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) give account of what they got from the SWV but all efforts have been futile.

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