From Iheanacho Nwosu Abuja
The Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF) yesterday failed to account for the N52billion it received from the Budget Office from the Service Wide Vote.
As a result, OHSF and Budget Office officials openly disagreed and caused a stir at the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts which is investigating the handling of Service Wide Votes by ministries and agencies in the last nine years.
Whereas the Permanent Secretary of the OHSF, Mr. Yemi Adelakun, told the lawmakers that they got only N17.6 billion over the period, the Budget Office said the claims were unfounded. It gave records of the disbursement of the funds from the Service Wide Votes from 2004 to 2012 as received by the OHSF.
The Budget Office stated categorically that OHSF received well over N52 billion during the period.
According to the Budget Office, in 2004, the OHSF received N2.7 billion, N9.8 million in 2005, N701.7 million in 2006, N896.3million in 2007, N5.3billion in 2008, N612.9million plus another N70million in 2009, N17.6billion in 2010.
Other releases, according to the Budget Office, were N13.6billion in 2011 and N8.5billion in 2012. The revelation caused a stir during the session.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Solomon Adeola-Olamilekan, expressed surprise at the revelation which he said showed how the resources of the country were being managed.
He stated that the OHSF documents only referred to the N17.6billion it received in 2010. He said based on the figures given by the Budget Office, there’s a disparity of almost N35 billion and requested for the documents for the rest of the years in question.
However, following OHSF’s inability to satisfactorily answer the queries of the committee over the Service Wide Votes disbursement, Hon Adeola-Olamilekan advised the OHSF to return to its archives and if necessary reconcile its records with the Budget Office and return to the committee with the relevant records on March 27.