Acting on a query from the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF), the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has resumed investigation into alleged spending of N38 million by National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for contracts without authorisation in 2011. This is as the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation (SGF) is separately being probe of negligence resulting to the loss of its official vehicle in the same year. The committee had earlier waded into the NHIS issue since the incident occurred in 2011, but was yet to be convinced that management of the scheme acted discreetly. According to the AuGF query for the year ended December 31, 2011, the NHIS had in 2011 awarded contracts in the sum for the construction, supply, installation of two OTIS lifts for the head office in Abuja; but rather than install the specified lifts, the contractor allegedly purchased and mounted another make of lift-Oroma for N30.556 million, thereby saving N7.433 million for other purposes. In the query forwarded to the committee, the Scheme had been requested to offer explanation on the whereabouts of the remaining N7.433 million. The AuGF in the query also wondered why the contract sum was fully paid the contractors, quite ahead of the supplies and installation. It said the action further amounted to breach of financial regulations in the public space. The Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, had accused the SGF of ineptitude and NHIS of acting against extant laws. He said the action of NHIS authorities was curious and painful, especially as it affected the psyche of workers in the country who contributed monthly to its funding. He wondered why NHIS records indicated the contracts sum of N38 million against N20 million quoted by the consultant to the project.

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