Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Reps panel to probe lottery trust fund over extra-budgetary spending

Reps panel to probe lottery trust fund over extra-budgetary spending
November 20
20:56 2023

The house of representatives committee on finance has declared a status enquiry on the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) over alleged extra-budgetary spending.

The committee took the decision on Monday when Bello Maigari, NLTF executive secretary, and other management staff of the fund appeared before the lawmakers.

They appeared before the committee to speak on the 2024-2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP).

The committee said an external auditor would be engaged to audit the NLTF account from inception to date, including income, liability, assets and expenses.


James Faleke, chairman of the committee, faulted the NLTF management for spending N6 billion internally generated revenue (IGR) in 2022 without budgetary approval.

The lawmakers also queried the fund for spending N2.5 billion in 2023 without due approval.

“Which Act gives you the power to spend your IGR? The constitution is supreme to any Act of the national assembly,” Faleke said.


“When you are fully funded, you are expected to remit your IGR 100 percent (without any deduction). So, if you generate N3 billion, you are expected to remit N3 billion.”

Responding, Maigari, and Muhammed Aminu, NLTF director of finance and account, explained that section 40 of the fund’s establishing Act enables it to spend money without the national assembly approval.

Reading section 40 of the Act, Maigari said: “The proceeds of the Trust Fund established under section 35 of this Act shall be applied from time to time. The Trust is to fund projects approved by the President, on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees, to be in the interest of the Nigerian community and such projects shall include but not be limited to projects for the advancement, upliftment and promotion of sports development, education, social services, public welfare and relief, and management of natural disasters in Nigeria”.

But the lawmakers countered Maigari, saying the provision of the constitution is supreme.


The chairman of the committee said NLTF is fully funded and should remit all its revenue to the federation account.

While insisting that Aminu knows the provision of the constitution, Faleke said he would propose an amendment to the NLTF Act.

“I am going to amend the section on the floor of the house so that it does not confuse you,” he said.

“There is even no confusion. This man (Aminu) here knows. He knows his job as a financial person. He knows and he has been so educated. I am 100 percent sure that no DFA does not know that IGR is remitted 100 percent.


“It is like the government just opened this agency for you and your family. That’s the meaning. You generated N2.5 billion and spent the N2.5 billion on the kobo.”

Faleke subsequently ruled that the parliament will launch a status of enquiry on the NLTF after which a report will be presented before the house.


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