NLTF blasts Senate over 7billion fraud allegation

NLTF blasts Senate over 7billion fraud allegation

NLTF blasts Senate over 7billion fraud allegation

The National Lottery Trust Fund, NLTF, has disproved the 7billion fraud allegation levelled by the Senate Committee on Finance.

Following an investigation into remittances by Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, the committee on Finance chaired by Adeola Olamilekan, on Monday, accused the NLTF of being guilty of fraud over N7 billion.

Olamilekan further adduced that the NLTF was responsible for disregarding the formal process of awarding a contract over N1.12 billion tagged: “Intervention budget distribution” that was requested in a letter dated March 12, 2014.

But NLTF’s executive secretary, Bello Maigari, during a meeting with newsmen, in Abuja, described the allegation by Senate Committee on Finance as mischievous which was targeted to oppugn the integrity of the agency.

Maigari said: “Now, coming back to fraud, I must tell you this is mischief at the highest level. I cannot imagine how senior ranking members of the National Assembly will be accusing us of fraud when they have not even sat down to look at our books to check and verify how we the process tool place, whether the projects have been delivered or whether the equipment or whatever processes that we should ensure that procurement has been carried out have been checked.

“For one to just jump to a conclusion and allege that there is fraud is too early in the day. We would have thought that we be given the benefit of hearing for us to defend whatever action we have taken so that at the end of the day there will be justice in the outcome of the committee’s assignments.

Speaking on the allegation that the agency violated the required process in the award of contract in 2014, Maigari said that over 2,500 public primary schools benefited from nine sets of sport award.

His words: “I have documentary evidence to the procurement they are referring about the sporting to public primary school in Nigeria. Over 2,500 primary schools benefited from nine sets of sports such as basketball, handball, soccer, volleyball they are all in the documentary and the benefits of these things, we have their contacts. We took due to pain to go through the processes of this procurement.

“Initially we had to obtain the approval of the honourable minister then to approve our budget A budget of N1.1 billion. Because the procurement involves a lot, we had to engage a consultant who knows the terrain. International business is not an easy thing. One needs to be careful.

“You can easily be swindled and you must know that you are dealing with the right entity. That was why we took the pain to engage a consultant to enable us to fashion out the process to procure and ship this equipment into Nigeria both cleared at the port and handed to the agency which we now distributed to almost 2,500 primary schools across Nigeria.”

The executive Chairman added that it is impossible for the agency to spend beyond what was appropriated for it as alleged by the upper chamber.

“Our remittance status in the period under review is not N7 billion. What was submitted to the committee is on record which is N6.3 billion not N7 billion. Even this figure when we directed it to the committee, the chairman directed that we should go and reconcile it with the national lottery commission because they said these figures; they don’t have records of them.

“I was shocked to hear that a regulatory body does not have records of our remittance. It is their duties as regulators to not only render account on what we receive for good courses but should also render account for the prices Nigeria make when they play lottery and gaming. They should also render an account of what operators make on annual basis. But for them to now say they do not have records of this, shows you that there is gross incompetence and we as Nigerians should not accept that,” Maigari said.

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