Senate threatens arrest of heads of erring MDAs over N5trn wide votes


The Nigerian Senate has threatened to arrest heads of erring government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that benefited from the N5 trillion Service Wide Votes, SWV, from 2017 to 2021 without approval.

It has also resolved to go into investigations to unravel the public officials involved.

This followed the discovery that many agencies collected funds from the SWV without notifying the National Assembly panels mandated by law to oversee the agencies.

SWV, also known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge, is more or less the country’s contingency fund in the annual budget.

While addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), explained that the investigation had to do with the disbursement of SWV between 2017 and 2021.

Urhoghide added that the votes had become a major component of the nation’s budget, considering the amount budgeted annually for it in the proposals.

The lawmaker said the committee wanted to know how the money collected from Service Wide Votes is being expended, alleging confusion in the approval of the votes

“We want to see how this money is being expended. There are confusion on approval, we want to really get to know what is going on”.

The 252 ministries, departments, and agencies that are expected to appear in the ongoing investigation of Service Wide Votes from 2017 to 2021 are the Ministry of Information and Culture, Defence, NHIS, Police, Ministry of Power, Bank of Industry, Water Resources, National Assembly, Public Complaints Commission among others.