12 December 2012

Nigeria: N1.6 Billion - Senate Queries Council Chairman

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), yesterday, lampooned Chairman, Kwali Area Council in FCT, Mr. Joseph Shazim, over his inability to account for N1.6billion released to the council for capital projects in the 2012. A total of N3.3bn was appropriated for the Council.

The committee led by Senator Smart Adeyemi also said that it was unacceptable for the council chairman to present a meager N7million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) projection for 2012 as against N74m projected as IGR for the same year, added that they would investigate the council's IGR profile.

The Council boss, Shazim, who appeared before the committee to defend the Council's 2013 budget was, however, asked to go and get his figures sorted out.

In an attempt to defend the N1.6bn capital budget, Shazim told the committee "We were able to utilize the sum of N295 million while part of the balance was used in paying salaries."

Displeased with his explanation, Senator Adeyemi said "I wonder why you cannot give us the details of the budget analysis up till October; you cannot be accurate if your presentation is limited only to September 2012.

"I wonder why your finance department cannot update you with all the expenditures till last month in an accurate manner, and here you have just few weeks to end of the year. Mr. Chairman, we are not satisfied with your explanations.

"You definitely will have to go, tidy up your book and come explain to Nigerians how you expended their money."

The Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senate Domingo Obende, who took up the Council chairman on the IGR said "by telling us here that you generated only 10 percent of the projection that either you are not ready for business or the money was collected and diverted to something else. Generating only N7million is ridiculous in an Area Council like Kwali. This is just the plain truth".

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