Senate investigates how MDAs used N1.7 trillion SWV in 2017–2021 budgets
THE SENATE has launched an investigation into how federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, spent over N1.7 trillion in Service Wide Votes allocations from the 2017 to 2021 budgets.
It is also conducting this comprehensive examination through the Committee on Public Accounts, which is chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo South).
Urhoghide stated yesterday during a committee meeting in Abuja that beneficiaries’ government agencies needed to explain how they used the amount.
“A Service Wide Votes, also known as the Consolidated Revenue Reserve Charge, is more or less the country’s contingency fund in the annual budget,” explained Urhoghide, describing SWV as a payment into deficit in capital and overheads.
“It is a huge sum of money, which is kept for unforeseen expenditures. The recurrent expenditure part of the fund is what is referred to as the SWV, while the capital part of it is called Capital Supplementation. The SWV is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance.”
He directed the acting Accountant-General of the Federation, Okolieaboh Sylva, who appeared before the committee, to provide information on Service Wide Votes distribution as soon as practicable.
He 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 to 2021, you have not submitted the 2021 disbursement, let us have that of 2022 as quickly as possible, the reason is we have 797 agencies to deal with.
‘’We have decided to put them on hold until we get your report for 2021 so that we don’t start writing fresh letters in 2021 again.
“We need to input it into our report. Let’s be able to know that you have exercised a level of cooperation with us. Give us hard copies for our members to study.
“We have to take you first before any other agency. You will have to appear the first week of our resumption,’’ he added.
Speaking with journalists further, Urhoghide stated that the agencies must explain how the Service Wide Votes collected were spent, and that the committee must know who authorized the disbursement of funds from Service Wide Votes, who applied for it, the authority to incur the expenditure, and the supporting documents.
He stated that the Senate was conducting an investigation into Service Wide Votes for the first time.
Remember Senator Urhoghide’s complaint about the SWV, stating that they (his committee) had yet to determine how disbursements for SWV, both recurring and capital spending, were being used.
The legislator stated that his committee has made repeated attempts over the years to ensure that heads of ministries, departments, and agencies, MDAs, account for what they get from the SWV, but that such efforts have been useless.