Monday, 29 August 2016

Benue Assembly Investigates Corruption At State Universal Basic Education Board

The Chairman, Benue State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government, Security and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Benjamin Nungwa, on Monday, said it had been discovered that the State Universal Basic Education Board, was maintaining two Payment Vouchers to siphon government monies.

Nungwa said the practice was contrary to the present administration’s policy which is anchored on transparency and accountability.

The committee chairman, who was speaking about his committee’s visit to the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Local Government Service Commission on the floor of the house, said SUBEB uses one of the Payment Vouchers to access monies from the State and Local Government Joint Account Committee, and used another voucher for the payment of salaries.

”The implication of this unlawful practice is to enable the Board access more money from the Joint Account Committee on  the PV that contains higher figures purported to be for staff salary and in turn use another one probably with lesser figures  for the actual payment of salary,” he said.

A member representing Oju 1 State Constituency, Dr. Adoga Onah, said the practice had been going on since at SUBEB, stressing that the practice was discovered right from the previous administration and wondered why the new management of the Board was still maintaining it.

Also, a member of the Committee, Stephen Tyochir, disclosed that apart from the issue of double payment vouchers being used by the board, both the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Local Government Service Commission were in conflict as to the exact number of civil servants at the third tier of government.

“Both have different figures of what is the exact staff strength in the LG. But by law, it is the statutory responsibility of the LGS Commission to employ staff for the third tier, and so they should be in a better position to know the staff strength of local governments,” Tyochir said.

The Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, who expressed surprise at the revelations, directed the Committee to carry out a detail investigation into the issue and report back to the House for necessary action.

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