Daniels Igoni, Yenagoa
The Presidential Amnesty Programme claimed on Friday that it had returned unspent funds in 2020 totalling N26bn to the treasury in compliance with extant financial guidelines.
The Special Adviser, Media, to the Interim Administrator of the PAP, Mr Nneotaobase Egbe, made the claim in a statement titled, ‘PAP is not a target’, and obtained by our correspondent.
He said the PAP, like other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, was not exempted from the Treasury Single Account policy put in place by the government to check corrupt practices in the MDAs.
Egbe said the last quarter funds remittance came a few days to the terminal date for the 2020 fiscal year and the PAP was only able to disburse part of it as the payment portal shut the unspent N26bn.
He said, “The PAP hereby states emphatically that it is true that N26 billion in the account was mopped up on December 31, 2020, as a part of the Federal Government wide financial process.
“It is not true that PAP was targeted or singled out as has been rumoured on social media. It has thus become necessary to state the facts as follows:
“In order to reduce the debts owed to several contractors since 2014, a payment plan that was sequential was initiated.
“It started with the oldest debt in consideration of vendors’ interest payments on loans secured from banks to execute their contracts.
“A total of 104 such debts based on our records of the level of job completion have been paid as of December 31, 2020.
“Other verified payments could not be made before December 31, 2020, because PAP’s funds for September/October allocation and November/December allocation were received on the 28th of December 2020 and 29th December 2020, respectively.
“In compliance with the Federal Government’s anti-corruption and extant financial regulations, our system was only able to disburse a portion of these funds before the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account was automatically shut down.”
According to him, the Accountant General of the Federation was notified of the need to roll over the funds to meet the obligations of the PAP to beneficiaries and contractors.
Egbe said that the Minister of Finance had also been notified on the need to release the funds to enable PAP to promptly meet its financial obligations contractors handling training and empowerment contracts.
“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.
He further said, “We are sure that these issues would be resolved speedily, and PAP would 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.”