Reps order fire service to refund N1.48bn COVID-19 funds

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, directed the Federal Fire Service refund the sum of N1.48bn within a week to the Federation Account, being the intervention funds it received for the COVID-19 health epidemic but which it cannot account for.

The Bamidele Salam-led committee issued the directive on Wednesday following the failure of the service to appear at the investigative hearing for the third time.

The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Jeremiah Umar, moved a motion for the refund of the amount noting that “so many other agencies have appeared before this committee, and the investigation is ongoing. I don’t see any reason why (sic) the fire service will ignore a committee like this.”

Umar added that since the service could not appear before the lawmaker to clear the controversies surrounding its COVID-19 expenditure, the right thing to do was to refund the sum of N1.48bn it collected in 2020.

This came just as the committee issued fresh invitations to some other defaulting ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to appear and answer various queries standing against them from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the billions of naira allocated as COVID-19 a intervention funds

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