Senate Threatens To Arrest Finance Ministry Perm. Sec. Over Missing N113m Allocated To JAMB

The Senate has threatened the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu with a warrant of arrest by next week if she fails to provide sensitive documents related to the disbursement of Service Wide Votes (SWV) and missing N113 million on salary adjustment for the Joint Admission Board Matriculation, JAMB (JAMB).

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), stated that the threat became imperative over the absence of the Director who has ignored three invites.

Urhoghide said the Committee had written a letter of appearance to the Ministry on 20th of October, 2022 and the letter was received on 21 October, 2022 by the Ministry.

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The ministry was also to give details of release to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, including Police and Armed Forces.

According to him, another letter was written to the Ministry on December 8, 2022, on the issue concerning missing N113 million of salary augmentation for JAMB.

Meanwhile, the office of Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) told the Committee that the N113 million was released to JAMB in May 2017 for salary augmentation.

Mufutau Bello, the Director of Finance and Administration at JAMB, who was in attendance, informed the Committee that the N113 million had not been released to them and that, had it been, it would have cut across the entire year.

According to him, it would cut across all MDAs using CONLESS. If there is a shortfall in May, it will spread to the whole year.

When the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and the Director of Cash Management repeatedly ignored the Committee, Senator Urhoghide became upset.

The Senate then gave the Permanent Secretary 48 hours to appear and give the Committee the necessary documents, or she would be subject to an arrest warrant by next week.

“The ministry officials have to appear before the committee by Thursday this week, since JAMB has denied knowledge of the release. We want to interface with them in your presence, the Cash Management Office has to come before this committee. This payment was used to clear the salary adjustment of 2017,” the chairman said.