Reps query use of N59m for 2016 Diaspora Day
The National Assembly is planning to establish a commission to enhance the welfare of Nigerians in the Diaspora..
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Matters, Mrs. Rita Orji disclosed this when members of the board of directors of the Diaspora Nigeria Organisation Europe (NIDOE) paid her a courtesy visit at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Orji who assured that both the House of Representatives and the Senate would pass the Bill aimed at achieving the goal, said her committee was liaising with the Debt Management Office (DMO) to ensure that the proposed Diaspora bond is well marketed and subscribed.
She reiterated the desire of the committee to ensure availability of data on Nigerians in the diaspora even as she threatened to withhold the N152 million 2017 budgetary proposal required to hold the Diaspora Day during the year.
Orji justified her position saying it was because the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was yet to account for the way and manner the N59 million budgeted for the 2016 Diaspora Day was expended.
According to her, officials in the SGF office failed to offer convincing explanation on how the money was expended during the recent budget defence session of her committee on the need to celebrate the 2017 Diaspora day.
“We queried them on how they spent the money. They said they bought flight tickets and what have you and that it was from the service wide votes. We asked them to provide the evidence, up till date, we have not heard from them. You cannot be feasting on people like that. Now they want N152 million but we insist they have to show proof of how they spent the one we allocated to them in 2016,” Orji said.