Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The House of Representatives is poised to get to the root of the missing N400 million from the Debt Management Office (DMO), after the National Population Commission (NPC) has denied that it only received the sum of N1.6 billion from DMO as against the N2.2 billion the office quoted it released to NPC between 2005 and 2012.
This is because the House of Representatives’ committee on public accounts has ordered a probe into the various releases of funds by DMO to NPC over the years, after Dr. Emmanuel Attah, NPC chairman, had raised an alarm that the commission received less than DMO quoted it released to NPC.
Following the appearance of Attah and other officials of NPC before the committee over auditor general of the federation’s queries for the period under review, it was revealed that the releases by DMO were as follows: 2005 N908,620,272.00; 2006 N32,234,372.00; 2009 N163,689,142.00; 2011 N159,052,699.40 and 2012 N902,403,124.00, respectively.
These releases were said to have been made to NPC by DMO from the Service Wide Vote between 2005 and 2012.
But in his defence, Attah told the committee that available records indicated that NPC only received N1 6 billion for its operations, which prompted the commission to order for the probe.
Hon. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, chairman of the committee, assured that the committee would do everything to recover the balance of N400 million to the covers of the Federal Government.
Adeola, who directed that NPC should immediately respond to the over 40 financial queries hanging on its neck, hinted that the committee had summoned the former chairman of the commission five times which he refused to respond.
He said that the committee was at the point of issuing a warrant of arrest on the immediate past chairman of the commission, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, when he was removed from the office.
The breakdown of the 40 queries, according to Adeola are as follows: 2007, 18; 2009, six; 2010, 10 and 2011, six, respectively.