December 7, 2023

Tope Omogbolagun

The Senate has commenced investigations into the 2021 and 2022 budgeting system used by the National Agency for the Control of Aids in preparing its annual budget.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Senator Elisha Abbo, spoke on Tuesday when the Director-General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, appeared before the committee for the 2023 budget defence.

Expressing his displeasure over the discrepancies in the budgeting system of the agency, Abbo said putting recurrent items under capital budget was a misnomer.

The chairman of the committee, therefore, refused to accept the 2023 budget of NACA stating that the anomaly must first be corrected in previous budget allocations before consideration was given to the current one.

Abbo said, “The fact that things have gone wrong for 100 years doesn’t make it 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.”

The committee chairman, however, set up a three-man ad-hoc committee to look into the budgeting process of NACA.

Abbo also queried the level at which grants and aid received by government agencies were not accounted for.

Efforts to get comments from the NACA boss proved abortive, as he refused to talk to journalists after the defence session.

Meanwhile, after a closed-door session with Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Abbo said the Senate would ensure adequate budgetary provision for the centre to get a befitting headquarters.

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