House of Reps summon Rotimi Amaechi over N25m donation

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The House of Representatives yesterday summoned Min­ister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to explain the alleged authorisation of N25.250 million spent for donations in 2008 with­out appropriation.
Amaechi is to appear before the House Committee on Public Accounts on a date yet to be com­municated to explain the rationale behind the authorisation.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ibrahim Baba, said that the minister is to turn up with the ministry’s budgetary ap­propriations for 2008 to determine whether there were provisions for the said donations or not.
The summon followed yester­day’s inability of Director General of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Dakuku Peterside to back up his defence with necessary documents and to explain to the committee why the spending was made in 2005 when funding for it was contained in the 2008 budget.
The Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), who accused NIMASA of the illicit spending in its 2010 report, wondered at the expenditure, which it described as strange and requested that the money should immediately be re­funded to the consolidated revenue account.
In the report, the AGF also ac­cused the agency of raising 14 sep­arate payment vouchers amount­ing to N41.261 million sequel to 2010, made to various companies and individuals without adhering to due process and asked that the monies be recovered also and re­turned to the federation account.
The AGF said the purpose for the payments is still hazy.
Defending the allegation, Peter­side said the payments were in or­der as they were meant for settling services that were rendered to the agency.
Speaking on the donations, the DG explained that it was normal for the agency to make donations under its corporate social responsi­bility policy, especially the one be­ing questioned.
He further explained that the donations were made to National Chamber of Shipping (NCS) to support its activities.
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