The House of Representatives Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals said it had never questioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on the SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adedulire, about the alleged attribution of a COVID-19 contract worth 26.9 billion naira.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye denied that Buhari’s aide was questioned during his 2021 budget defense that he oversaw.
He said there was no prior credit to spend on COVID-19, so the Committee did not have to question the SDG leader.
The lawmaker, while speaking with DAILY POST in Abuja, urged providers of false claims of critical economy issues to refrain.
Earlier in defense of the budget, a member of the Committee and a member representing the federal constituency of Badagry, the Hon. Humpe Akande said there was no basis for questioning OSSAP-ODD or Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire about irregularities in the awarding of contracts or the procurement of palliatives during the budget defense session.
Lawmakers questioned what the bad guys have to gain, noting that the Committee has a history of government agencies that have been involved in COVID-19 palliatives.
He said there was a need to applaud government officials where they did well, which he said would inspire others to do better.
Responding to issues related to the implementation of special intervention projects, Hembe explained that the release of funds was exclusively the responsibility of the executive branch of government, therefore, the senior special assistant cannot be held responsible in the event that some projects that were captured in the SDG office were unfinished before the end of the fiscal year.
“You don’t expect SSA to execute projects when the funds are not released. The Committee could not have questioned him when we knew that the funding necessary for the execution of the projects was not available to him.
The lawmaker revealed that most ministries, agencies and government departments face challenges in releasing funds from the executive in 2020, making it difficult to execute their projects to the fullest.
Representative Uju Kingsley, Imo State, also said the agency could not have spent $ 26 billion without appropriation.
“An agency cannot spend 26 billion without appropriation by the National Assembly.
“We need to set the record straight so as not to put the agency in the public eye.”
Committee Vice-Chairman Zainab Gimba, while reacting to the report on the Committee’s alleged issue, urged Nigerians to ignore the report, saying that as far as they were concerned, the Committee was quite satisfied with the management by Orelope-Adefulire of the SDG office.
“I could sense that someone, somewhere, is probably disturbed by his exceptional performance and has decided to slander his integrity in any way.
The representative of Princess Mariam Onuoha representing the federal constituency of Isiala Mbano / Okigwe had, during the budget defense session, noted that Princess Orelope-Adefulire deserved congratulations for the way she had handled the affairs of the OSSAP-ODD. But she asked for the allocation of more intervention projects in her constituency for the benefit of her people.