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Presidency unit spent N.65 million to donate N100K to member

The national honours agency defended its 2021 budget before the House of Reps on Wednesday.

• October 28, 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian National Merit Awards (NNMA), an agency under the supervision of the presidency, spent N648,000 to deliver a cash gift of N100,000 to a member of its governing board whose son got married, a House committee heard on Wednesday.  

At the budget defense on Wednesday before the committee on intergovernmental affairs, principals of the agency were accused of mismanagement of previous budget releases. 

Akin Alabi, an APC lawmaker from Oyo who chairs the committee, revealed that between 2014-2019 N189,294,000 was collected by the agency as internally revenues, most of which went into covering hotel charges and luxurious travels. 

NNMA was also accused of falsely claiming to have used the sum of N9,183,000 in hotel charges in Abuja, but findings of the committee at the hotel revealed that no such booking was made. 

The agency was also accused of spending N516,000 as hotel accommodation for three staff members to attend a birthday party, where members donated N100,000 from public coffers. 

Lawmakers directed the agency’s board to go back and respond appropriately to all outstanding allegations of mismanagement before its budget for 2021 can be reviewed.–

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