Senate panel summons Zainab Ahmed over unexplained N206bn in humanitarian ministry’s budget

The senate committee on special duties on Monday summoned Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national planning, over the insertion of N206 billion into the 2023 budget of the humanitarian affairs ministry.

According to NAN, Yusuf Yusuf, the committee’s chairman, issued the summon when Sadiya Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, appeared before the panel for the defence of the ministry’s 2023 budget on Monday.

Ishaku Abbo, a member of the committee, asked Farouq about the nature of the projects to be implemented with N206 billion the minister plans to borrow.

“In 2023, you intend to borrow N206 billion for a project. What are the projects to be implemented and is it captured in the medium term expenditure framework?” NAN quoted Abbo as saying.

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“If it is, what are the specific projects location and activities attached to this?”

In her response, Farouq said: “Yes, we made mention of the projects for 2022 which were not released and part of it was part for the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).”

“The money was not released and now we have seen it recurring by almost 10 fold.

“We are also going to clarify from the ministry of finance to know the reason for this increase in spite of the fact that the previous year, the money was not even released for the project.

“So we will get the details then send it to you.

“On upscaling of the national social safety-net project (NSSNP); these projects under the national social safety-net, the condition cash transfer, the updating of the national social register and the rapid response register (RRR) are to cushion the effect of inflation.

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“This is all I can say for this. I cannot really give full details of how this amount is going to be utilised because it is something that was negotiated between the ministry of finance and World Bank.”

Yusuf, therefore, approved the motion to summon the finance minister to appear before the committee to give explanation on the N206 billion.

NAN report

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