The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has commenced an investigation into the utilisation of N3.4 billion personnel cost allocation provided in the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) budgets for 2018 and 2019.
The committee said PTAD failed to recruit workers, despite being in the provision of its budget.
The committee chairman, Wole Oke (PDP, Osun), who lamented the unstable personnel cost, accused PTAD of lying to the government and the parliament and also denying other agencies of funds that could have been used for such a purpose.
He explained that ”An audit query from the Auditor General of the Federation Office disclosed that the agency was given N1.7bn as personnel cost in 2018 but utilised N1.4bn and returned the balance of about N310m to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
”Despite not recruiting the required staff, the same amount of N1.7 billion was also given to the agency as personnels cost in 2019, with the amount spent going up to about N1.6 billion,” he said.
In his response, the senior officer of PTAD, Abdullah Abubakar, explained that the increase in the agency expenditure despite not recruiting new staffs was a result of the promotion of existing workers and the need to adjust their salaries in accordance with their new ranks.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, stated, “Our personnel are handled by IPPIS. We returned the balance of the money budgeted to the CRF because we did not recruit the staffs that we needed to employ. To date, we still need those workers, but we have yet to get a waiver from the head of service to employ.”
The committee’s chairman, however, faulted the explanation and demanded that PTAD provide the needs assessment carried out by the Federal Character Commission (FCC)and the head of service leading to their budgetary requests since 2017.