House of Reps Starts Probing Obasanjo’s Government
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House of Reps has started investigations into how a $5m grant given for the Lake Chad Basin Commission during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo was spent.
The Punch reports that the House on Thursday, December 17, noted that the money was meant to carry out study on how to direct rivers to the lake but nothing came out of it.
Mr Ahmed Abu, a member of the House, said the office of the auditor-general of the federation released a report in October that showed that the fund was not used.
Abu explained that Nigeria and neighbouring countries were to contribute to the commission’s annual budget but that Nigeria has been funding it.
He said: “The House is aware that the percentage contribution towards the commission’s annual budget is 40 per cent by Nigeria; 18 per cent by Libya; 20 per cent by Cameroon; seven per cent by Niger; 11 per cent by Chad and four per cent by Central African Republic.
“The House is informed that the sum of $5m was released by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the commission for feasibility studies on how to divert rivers from the Central African Republic to Lake Chad, which was drying up, in addition to funding the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s annual budget through the funding formula, to which Nigeria contributes 40 per cent.”
The House pointed out that the absence of the $5m in the report was an example of how huge amounts of money were put into projects without adequate monitoring to find out how the fund was used.
“The House regrets that transaction of this magnitude paid for with tax payers’ money has not been given the due attention it deserves by way of follow-up,” Abu added.
Yakubu Dogara, the speaker of the House, has also directed the committee to begin investigation and report within eight weeks.