The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has initiated a status inquiry into the National Lottery Trust Fund’s spending of internally generated revenue (IGR) without proper budgetary approval.
The move came during a hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) on Monday.
The management team of the National Lottery Trust Fund, led by Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer Bello Maigari, appeared before the Committee to defend their revenue estimates.
Maigari disclosed that the agency had been utilizing all its IGR without obtaining approval from the National Assembly.
Maigari cited Section 40 of the Act, asserting that it permits the agency to allocate generated revenue to projects nationwide.
He informed lawmakers that the fund had generated N2,492,996,588.13 in 2023, and the entire amount had been expended on various projects.
Committee Chairman James Faleke challenged Maigari’s explanation, contending that the agency’s actions contradicted the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Faleke expressed concern, stating, “It’s like the government opened this agency for you and your family. That is what you are saying. You generated almost N2.5 billion and you spent the N2.5 billion to the kobo. You generated N2,492,996,588.13 from one source and then expended the exact same amount. And you put performance, 100 per cent.”
In response to the discrepancies, the Committee called for a comprehensive status inquiry into the National Lottery Trust Fund’s activities from its inception to date.
It is noteworthy that Bola Ahmed Tinubu has submitted the 2024/2026 MTEF to the National Assembly for approval.