The National Lottery Trust Fund has been placed on a status inquiry over the spending of internally generated revenue, IGR, without budgetary approval.
This status inquiry was ordered on Monday by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance during a hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
The management team of the National Lottery Trust Fund, led by its Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bello Maigari appeared before the Committee to defend their revenue estimates.
The document submitted by Maigari revealed that the agency has been spending all its internally generated revenue without the approval of the National Assembly.
Maigari had explained that the Fund’s management acted in line with Section 40 of the Act, which allows the agency to spend generated revenue on some projects across the country.
He told the lawmakers the Fund has so far generated N2,492,996,588.13 in 2023, out of which the entire sum has been expended on various projects.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. James Faleke faulted the argument by Maigari, noting that the action of the agency is against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
“It’s like the government opened this agency for you and your family. That is what you are saying. That is the meaning. 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”, Faleke said.
The committee, therefore, called for the status inquiry into the activities of the agency from inception till date.
President Bola Tinubu transmitted the 2024/2026 MTEF to the National Assembly for approval.