Reps summon four Ministers

Posted by News Express | 23 February 2020 | 458 times

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•Speaker House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila

By TONY AKOWE, Abuja

The House of Representatives has summoned four Ministers to appear before its Committee on Public Account to answer questions on why agencies under them should not be sanctioned for violating extant laws on submission of audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

The House also placed the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs(NIIA) Lagos, Nigeria Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, the Nigeria investment Promotion Council, Radiographers Registration Board, Inter-Country Centre for Oral Health, Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria Natural Medicine Agency and the Lake Chad Research institute under status enquiry.

The agencies are to reappear before the committee with their immediate past management teams, annul budgets and audited accounts covering the period under investigation.

The House is investigating what it described as “deliberate and reckless refusal by non treasury and partially funded agencies to render their audited accounts covering the period from 2014 to 2018.”

The Ministers are: Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono; Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

Saraki is to appear with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry over the refusal of the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Administration (NIMASA) to appear before the Committee to explain why it has failed to submit the audited report since 2014 to the Auditor General.

The Committee Chairman said the Management of NIMASAbhas refused to make an appearance before the Committee, while also frowning at the failure of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to submit up to date audited accounts to the appropriate quarters.

The Minister of Agriculture, on his part, is to appear alongside all agencies in the Ministry to explain the delay in constituting boards for the agencies.

Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke frowned at the refusal of the agencies to abide by the provisions of the law, saying it was not acceptable that for eight years, the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs failed to submit its audited account as required by law.

The agency, according to the Office of the Auditor General last submitted its audited accounts in 2010, a situation, Oke said was very embarrassing.

Oke warned the management of NIMASA led by a former member of the House, Dakuku Peterside to stop undermining the House, saying this will be the last time it will invite them to appear, failure which, the Committee will be forced to recommend appropriate sanction against them. (THe Nation)


Source: News Express

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