Senate Committee on Public Accounts has resolved to probe utilisation of over N1.7 trillion service wide votes (SWVs) in the 2017-2021 budgets disbursed to government agencies
SWV, which is also known as Consolidated Revenue Fund charge is more or less the country’s contingency fund in the yearly budget.
The term refers to huge sum of money kept for unforeseen expenditures by government. The recurrent expenditure part of the fund is what is actually referred to as SWV, while the capital part is called capital supplementation. The SWV is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
During a meeting of the committee, the chairman, Senator Matthew Urhogbide, said beneficiary agencies must explain how they utilised the fund.
He directed the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Okolieaboh Sylva, who appeared before panel, to submit details of the disbursements as quickly as possible.
Urhogbide said: “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 because 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 on 2021 again.”
Addressing reporters, chairman explained that the panel wants to know who applied and authorised the disbursements with supporting documents.
He submitted that for the first time, the Senate is investigating the votes. Urhoghide had complained about the SWV, noting that they (his committee) were yet to find out how the disbursements for recurrent and capital expenditures were utilised.
According to the lawmaker, his committee has made several attempts in the past years to ensure that heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) account for the allocations to no avail.