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.