House of Representatives Thursday directed its Committee on Public Accounts to investigate the alleged squandering of N10bn government funds on the charter and maintenance of a Challenger 850 aircraft for unofficial use by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Dizeani Allison-Madueke.
The lawmaker who moved the motion for approval, Samuel Adejare, representing Lagos State, said the allegation was based on “reliable evidence” indicating that Mrs. Alison-Madueke has committed about 500,000 Euros (N130 million naira) monthly to maintaining the aircraft, solely for her personal needs and those of her immediate family.
According to him, preliminary investigations prove that the financing for the aircraft was drawn from government funds, adding that the expenditure would be only “a tip of the iceberg” as several other billions of naira may have been frittered on flying the jet all over the world “obviously for the leisure” of the minister and her immediate family.
“This colossal waste is currently estimated at N10 billion which include the payment of allowances to the crew for the trips, hanger parking and rent based on the lease agreement,” Mr. Adejare said.
“If government could be bankrolling this waste in the face of ever dwindling public resources, it amounts to a misplacement of priority, impudence and breach of public trust, an action that offends the Fiscal Responsibility Act and all other Laws on fiscal discipline in Nigeria.”
The motion in the House of Representatives Thursday, was approved with an overwhelming voice vote.
The committee on public finance is to investigate the allegation and present its findings to the house within two weeks.
The House also sought to check the non-remittance of funds accruing from the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), Bonny to the Federation Account from 2004 till date.