The Senate is investigating the 2021 and 2022 budgeting system used by the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) in preparing its annual budget.
Senator Ishaku Abbo, Chairman Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, made this known on Tuesday when the Director-General NACA, MrvGambo Aliyu, appeared before the committee for 2023 budget defence.
Expressing his displeasure over the discrepancies in the budgeting system of the agency, Abbo said that putting recurrent items under capital budget was a misnomer.
Abbo said: “The fact that things have gone wrong for 100 years doesn’t make it to be right. We must change how things are done.
“How can a board meeting be captured as a capital project.
“This is not just a discrepancy it is a misnomer. We have to correct this misnomer.
“The committee will look at it and expunge it. Your capital doesn’t sound capital enough. We understand the importance of your agency,” Abbo said.
He, however, set up a three-man ad hoc committee to look into the budgeting process of NACA.
“I’m setting up a three-man ad hoc committee to look at the budgeting processes of NACA and liaise with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Director-General Budget Office.
“This is so that they will come up with workable and more acceptable way of doing budget for NACA.”
Abbo said that the ad hoc committee is to be chaired by Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP-Sokoto).
He equally queried the level with which grants and aids received by government agencies were not accounted for.
“Grants and aids are currently been received by different government agencies on behalf of Nigerians. This is running into billions of naira.
“Nobody knows what they are doing with it. These agencies are a creation of the law. We must know what they are doing with the loans and grants. They must account for them,” Abbo said.
He, however, stepped down consideration of the 2023 budget of NACA.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that efforts to speak with the NACA boss was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, after a closed-door session with Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abbo said that the Senate would ensure adequate budgetary provision for the centre to get a befitting headquarters.
“We had discussed during the closed-door session, the need for NCDC to get a convenient place for its office.
“Nigeria must begin to develop health institutions and systems so that we can be prepared for any emergency or pandemic,” he said.