The House of Representatives Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) says it had not indicted to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) on SDGs of N33 billion 2020 budget padding on as alleged by some media reports.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye (APC-Lagos) in a statement on Friday in Abuja described the media reports as misleading.
He said that the media report claimed that N33 billion was included in the allocation for the SDGs in the 2020 Budget without providing details to the National Assembly.
Agunsoye said that the report went on to say that the National Assembly directed the Ministry of Finance to stop release of allocation to the SDGs office haven indicated the OSSAP.
In setting the records straight, the House Committee on SDGs hereby state that a correspondence was sent to the Finance Ministry in respect of the subject matter, upon which clarification was sought from the SDGs office without any indictment on the person or the office of the SSA-SDGs.
“The committee on SDGs got records from the OSSAP-SDGs and the House Appropriation Committee which shows the said additional N33 billion was not appropriated for SDGs office among provisions of the 2020 budget earlier assented by Mr. President.
“We all know the prevalence of Covid-19 distorted implementation of entire 2020 budget; the legislature is determined to ensure adequate oversight of all appropriated funds for the implementation of SDGs programmes in all Ministries, Department and Agencies of government.
“As soon as we get adequate correspondence from the House Appropriation Committee, it would further ascertain releases of funds in order to guide our oversight activities,” he said.
According to him, the recent official correspondence from both Senate and House SDGs committees to the Finance Ministry is for the ministry to release the budget provisions of OSSAP on SDGs to enable our committees to oversight accordingly.
He said that the clarification became imperative to avoid any misrepresentation of the earlier correspondence between the National Assembly Committees on SDGs and Finance Ministry as there is no financial indictment on the person and office of the OSSAP-SDGs.