The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied that it made provision for constituency projects in its 2019 budget.
Media reports had quoted Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, as saying that the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice had N5.6 billion inserted in their 2019 budget for execution of zonal intervention projects.
Owasanoye, at a media roundtable in Abuja, to promote the commission’s ‘My Constituency, My Project’ initiative said a breakdown of the 2019 allocation for zonal interventional projects showed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would spend N2.9 billion on constituency projects.
But in a statement by the ministry’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, on Monday, he said no such amount was earmarked in the ministry’s 2019 budget.
However, he noted that an investigation carried out as a result of the media reports revealed that zonal intervention projects allocated to members of the National Assembly as constituency projects were earmarked by NASS for execution by an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unknown to the ministry.
“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to media reports credited to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) stating that the sum of 2.9 Billion Naira has been earmarked for Zonal Intervention / Constituency Projects in the Ministry’s 2019 Budget,” the statement said.
“The Ministry wishes to inform the public that no such amount was earmarked in the Ministry’s 2019 Budget.
“However, an investigation conducted as a consequence of the media report revealed that unknown to the Ministry, Zonal Intervention Projects allocated to Members of the National Assembly (NASS) as Constituency Projects to the tune of 2.9 Billion Naira was earmarked by NASS for execution by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (ICPR), which happens to be an Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It is important to note that this amount is not reflected in the 2019 Appropriation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and never came to the attention of the Ministry.”