The House of Representatives on Thursday ordered an investigation into an allegation that the petroleum minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke, squandered billions of naira of government funds on the maintenance of a private jet.
One of the most controversial ministers Deziani, is to be examined by the House committee on public accounts.
She is alleged to have spent N10billion of state funds in the last two years to charter, operate and maintain a jet for her personal use.
The motion was tabled by Samuel Adejare (APC, Agege Federal Constituency, Lagos State), stated that the allegation was based on ”reliable evidence” indicating that Mrs. Alison-Madueke has committed about 500,000 Euros (N130 million naira) monthly to maintain the aircraft, solely for her personal needs and those of her immediate family.
According to Adejare, preminilary investigations prove that the financing for the Challenger 850 aircraft was drawn from government funds. Further stating that the expenditure would be only “a tip of the iceberg” as several other billions of naira may have been frittered on flying the jet all over the world “obviously for the leisure” of the minister and her immediate family.
“This colossal waste is currently estimated at N10 billion which include the payment of allowances to the crew for the trips, hanger parking and rent based on the lease agreement,” Mr. Adejare said.
“If government could be bankrolling this waste in the face of ever dwindling public resources,…it amounts to a misplacement of priority, impudence and breach of public trust, an action that offends the Fiscal Responsibility Act and all other Laws on fiscal discipline in Nigeria.”
The motion was supported was approved with an overwhelming voice vote.
The committee on public finance is to investigate the allegation and present its findings to the house within two weeks.
Deziani has previously been indicted in several reports and allegations, including that of missing $20billion oil proceeds raised by suspended CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, but several calls for her removal have been pushed aside by President Jonathan.