The Senate, through its standing Committee on Public Accounts, has begun a probe of over 1.7 trillion service-wide votes allocated to federal agencies from 2017 to 2021 budgets.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhogbide, who made this known during the meeting of the committee, said beneficiary government agencies needed to give explanations on how they utilised the fund. He added that service-wide votes were a disbursement for shortfall in capital and overheads.
A service-wide vote, which is also known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge, is more or less the country’s contingency fund in the annual budget. It is a huge sum of money which is kept for unforeseen expenditures. The recurrent expenditure part of the fund is what is actually referred to as the service-wide votes, while the capital part of it is called capital supplementation.
The Chairman also ordered the Acting Accountant-General of the Federation, Okolieaboh Sylva, who appeared before the committee to submit details of disbursement of service wide votes as quickly as possible.
Urhogbide said, “We want you to submit details of disbursement of Service Wide Votes, let us have it as quickly as possible, please we want speed. The other one that concerns you is the disbursement of service-wide votes from 2017-2021. You have not submitted the 2021 disbursement; let us have that of 2022 as quickly as possible. The reason is because we have 797 agencies to deal with all the letters. We have decided to put them on hold until we get your report of 2021, so that we don’t start writing fresh letters in 2021 again as soon as possible.
“We need to input it into our report, let us be able to know that you have exercised a level of cooperation with us, give us hard copies for our members to study”, he stated.