• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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House of Reps’ initiates probe into FAAC funds utilisation

Reps reject representatives as Service Chiefs, IGP shun invitation

The House of Representatives has embarked on a crucial investigation into the allocation and utilisation of funds from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) by states and local government areas (LGAs) in 2023.

During the plenary session on Tuesday, the lower legislative chamber unanimously passed a resolution to probe the distribution and expenditure of the substantial sum allocated through FAAC.

The motion, sponsored by Ademorin Kuye, a lawmaker representing Somolu federal constituency of Lagos, garnered wide support among members.

In 2023, FAAC disbursed N6.57 trillion to the 36 states of the federation and 774 LGAs.

This financial injection from FAAC plays a pivotal role in propelling development and facilitating governmental operations across various levels.

According to the current FAAC revenue-sharing formula, 52.68 percent goes to the federal government, 26.72 percent to states, and 20.60 percent to local governments.

The increased allocation has been attributed to several factors, including the withdrawal of petrol subsidies and economic policy adjustments by the federal government.

Kuye, in his address to the chamber, emphasized the stark reality amidst the increased allocation, stating, “Most of these states with increased allocation face significant challenges in payment of salaries, effective management of public institutions, provision of public transportation, and access to potable water as the unemployment rate has increased to over 51 percent in some of them.”

Despite the influx of funds, Kuye pointed out that “14.2 million more citizens continue to grapple with poverty,” underscoring the pressing need for enhanced accountability and prudent financial management by state authorities.

The motion, which encountered unanimous approval through a voice vote without deliberation, mandates the committees on special duties, national planning and economic development, and inter-governmental affairs to scrutinize state spending and utilisation of the escalated FAAC allocation.

They are tasked to furnish the House with a comprehensive report within four weeks, paving the way for further legislative actions.

While the National Assembly possesses the constitutional mandate to oversee state expenditures, the autonomy granted to states underscores the delicate balance between federal oversight and state prerogatives in financial matters.