Reps probe finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, over N1bn NITDA fund
The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, over N1 billion taken from the accounts of the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDA).
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of the motion sponsored by Onawo Ogoshi, who called for the House intervention.
Ogoshi argued the sum of N1 billion was debited from NITDA account “based on the instructions of the minister of finance without sufficient documentation of due evidential value regardless of the provisions of its enabling Act as a development agency.”
According to Ogoshi, Section 12(1) of the NITDA Act, which established the NITDeF provides that all the funds accrued to the agency including: one percent levy on entities contained in the Third Schedule of the Act, grants in aid from bilateral and multilateral agencies, voluntary contributions and bequests accruable assets and monies to the Fund and budgetary appropriations from the federal government, shall be paid.
“The House is concerned that the oversight activity of the collections into the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDeF) between 2010 and 2015 showed that there was neither reliable record of accounts nor efficient coordination between NITDA and FIRS, thereby given the unhealthy impression that NITDA had abandoned its accounting responsibilities in the management of the fund,” he noted.
According to the lawmaker, the poor collection and remittance mechanism into the NITDeF may have led to significant revenue shortfall for NITDA, thus affecting its ability to effectively deliver on national information technology development.
“It has become difficult to locate a reliable record of all outstanding collections due to NITDA, and to confirm the amount of unremitted sums due from FIRS and NITDeF.
He however noted that the activities of the agency which was established by the NITDA Act, 2007 to regulate the development and implementation of information technology policy and practice in Nigeria, has been hampered by the shortfall.
Other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion including Oghene Egho (PDP-Lagos) and Buba Keira (PDP-Katsina) queried the rationale behind non-reconciliation of funds collected by fits on behalf of other agencies.
To this end, the House resolved to ascertain the actual amount accrued to the coffer of NITDA and its utilisation.
While ruling, Speaker Yakubu Dogara mandated the joint Committees on Information Technology and Finance to investigate the matter and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.