By Babajide Okeowo
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) on Friday said that it returned unspent N26 billion to national treasury in compliance with extant financial regulations.
Mr Nneotaobase Egbe, Special Adviser on Media to Interim Administrator, PAP, disclosed this in a statement issued to newsmen.
He also dismissed reports that PAP was targeted at in returning of unspent funds.
According to him, the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which was developed to check corruption in government ministries, departments and agencies, applies across board and not restricted to PAP.
Egbe said that PAP’s last quarter allocations came few days to the terminal date for the 2020 fiscal year, adding that PAP was only able to disburse part of it while the payment portal shut unspent N26 billion.
“PAP hereby states emphatically that it is true that N26 billion in the account was mopped up on Dec. 31, 2020, as a part of the Federal Government’s wide financial process.
“It is not true that PAP was targeted at or singled out, as being rumoured on social media.
“It has become necessary to state the facts as follows:
“In order to reduce the debts owed contractors since 2014, a payment plan that was sequential was initiated.
“It started with the oldest debts in consideration of vendors’ interest payments on loans secured from banks to execute their contracts,’’ he said.
Egbe said that 104 of such debts based on PAP’s record of level of job completion were paid as at Dec. 31, 2020.
“Other verified payments could not be made before Dec. 31, 2020, because PAP’s September/October allocation and November/December allocation were received on the 28th of December 2020 and 29th December 2020, respectively,’’ he said.
He said that in compliance with the Federal Government’s financial regulations, PAP’s system was only able to disburse a portion of the funds before TSA was shut.
He added that the accountant-general of the federation was promptly notified of the need to rollover the funds to enable PAP to meet its obligations to beneficiaries and contractors.
Egbe said that the minister of finance had been notified about the need to release the funds to enable PAP to promptly meet the financial obligations.
“PAP is committed to prudently dispensing its financial obligations based on extant financial regulations.
“We, therefore, urge our ex-agitators/delegates and communities and contractors to remain calm.
“We are sure that these issues will be resolved speedily, and PAP will receive exclusive rollover of funds going forward to avoid this type of situation in the future.
“PAP remains committed to restoring payment of stipends on the 25th of every month once the bumps are cleared,” Egbe said.