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Reps query NPC over N1.9bn expenditure on summit

The House of Representatives Committee on National Population Commission has queried the Commission over N1.9 billion spent on presidential summit in the presidential villa and conferences organized across the country.

The committee at a budget defence session of the commission also demanded explanation on the N5bn spent by the NPC on the mock census.

The Director of Census of the commission, Mrs. Arinola Olanipekun said the summit was organized to bring to Nigerians the 2023 census instrument as to question and nature of data the commission wants to generate as well as  to seek the opinion of Nigerians.

The Director finance and accounts, Mr. Benjamin Fagbemi, explained that N129m was spent on the summit at the villa, while the one held in the 36 states and FCT gulped N1.2bn.

Mr. Fagbemi added that N365m was also used on stakeholders conference.

A member of the committee from Anambra State, Mr. Ifeanyi Momah however expressed concern with N5bn budgeted for the mock census, saying most of the staff deployed to his state for the exercise had to reach out to politicians for financial support.

He called on the commission to throw more light on what they used the money for.

Another member from Ondo state, Mr. Gboluga Ikengboju, moved a motion for the NCP to go back and take a critical look at the discrepancies in the document they presented to the committee.

“We cannot be speculating over tax payers money. I hereby move that they should go back and tidy up these documents’,” he said.

Ruling on the motion, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Muhammad Lawal, expressed dissatisfaction with the presentation and directed the leadership of the NPC to comeback on Wednesday next week with proper documentation.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu