SECRETARY to the Government
of the Federation, SGF, Boss
Mustapha has explained why the
government paid N40 million
to a former president, instead of
buying vehicles as prescribed by
law.
Mustapha said the decision was
adopted so the former leaders
could purchase vehicles they
prefer, stressing that the former
leaders were entitled to the
vehicles according to law.
He said this yesterday at the
2018 budget defence session
before members of the Senate
Committee on Federal Character
and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
“They are entitled to that by law.
We took a decision that instead of
buying these vehicles, we should
give them the money and let them
buy vehicles of their choices.
One of them qualified for it this
year and that was why the N40
million was paid. The remaining,
hopefully will qualify for it next
year or thereabout.”
A member of the committee,
Duro Faseyi (Ekiti-PDP) was
however not satisfied with the
explanation, as he asked the SGF to
explain if the move was consistent
with the 2017 Appropriation Act.
“You said you monetised and
you said there is a law; does that
law supersede the appropriation
law?” he asked.
“Because what we passed in
the appropriation law is seven
numbers of vehicles. There is
no clause that said you should
give them money. By giving
them money, to me, is against
the appropriation act. Was there
any recurrent to the National
Assembly that you are giving
money contrary to what we
passed?”
Mustapha did not quote a law
to back his earlier claim; rather,
he explained that the move was
in tandem with ‘government
policies.’
“I quite understand that there
GOVERNOR of Plateau State,
Simon Lalong says he advised his
Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom,
against implementing anti-grazing
law.
Speaking to State House
correspondents after meeting
with President Muhammadu
Buhari yesterday, Lalong faulted
the decision to implement the law
without alternatives.
Lalong, who said it was not
only Fulani people who engage
in cattle rearing, added that there
was relative peace in his state
because the government was able
to bring the herders and farmers
together, adding that the plan by
the federal government to establish
cattle colonies would address the
herdsmen crisis.
Over 80 people have lost their
lives to herdsmen attacks in Benue
in 2018 alone, prompting the Benue
government to enact the antigrazing
law to curb the activities of
herdsmen.
As Shettima urges Reps to support Army
is an appropriation but there
are other government policies
especially when it comes to the
issue of monetisation of vehicles
particularly. I believe that it
also applies to the National
Assembly.
“They are elder statesmen.
Probably, the kind of vehicles
that we want to buy for them
may not be their preference.
We are even talking about
Prado jeeps here, a lot of them
might not be disposed to
riding Prado jeeps because of
age. They might want a salon
because that is the one that will
provide them with maximum
comfort. Because they are elder
statesmen, we defer to that
and there were circulars to that
effect that it can be monetised
and their money given to them
so that they can buy vehicles of
their choices. It’s across board;
all of them that have served as
presidents, vice presidents and
heads of states.”
Mustapha informed the
Senators that his office
has introduced a tracking
mechanism to track spending
of Ministries, Departments and
Agencies, MDAs.
“We have put in place an area
of counselling yesterday for
ministers to give an in depth
report on the appropriation
of 2016 and 2017. We have
institutionalised a tracking
method where every minster
will come from now till next
month to track the memos.
All the contracts of the memo.
I sought for the approval of
Mr. President on this. We
have circularised amongst all
ministers,” he said.
For 2018, the Office of the
Secretary of the Government
of Federation proposed N9.81
billion budget with a personnel
cost of N3.4 billion overhead
cost, N3.9 billion, and capital,
N2.5 billion.

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