Posted by News Express | 21 February 2020 | 993 times
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account heard on Monday that some workers of the Nigeria Mining Corporation (NMC) are still getting salaries from government, 14 years after the corporation was closed down.
Committee Chairman Oluwole Oke directed that the Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, the Minister of Water Resources and the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) should appear before the committee to answer questions on the agencies under their supervision.
The Minister for Solid Minerals and Steel Development as well as the BPE Director-General are to explain why the agency that has been closed down since 2006 was still paying salaries from the public funds.
The corporation’s Assistant General Manager, Finance, Dauda Ibrahim Gambo, told the House Committee that the agency was closed for privatisation and that its workers were asked to collaborate with BPE for a successful privatisation.
This happened as the committee issued a warrant of arrest against government agencies that have failed to appear before it, after summons.
The agencies are to answer questions on why they failed to submit their audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), as stipulated by law.
Oke issued the threat.
The lawmaker said such agencies have something to hide.
He said the House was determined to unravel the reason for their disobedience to the law.
Oke summoned the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority to appear before the committee today or risk arrest.
The committee chairman issued the threat at the resumed sitting of the committee.
Also, about 24 former workers of the Lagos International Trade Fair, who were sacked when the agency was concessioned but absorbed by the parent ministry, are still collecting salaries from the organisation.
The committee placed all river basin development authorities on status enquiry.
It said the House wanted to get to the root of the non-submission of audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) by non-treasury-funded and partially funded agencies in accordance with the law.
The committee put the following agencies under status enquiry: Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority, Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Cross River Basin Development Authority, Sokoto Rima Basin Development Authority, Lake Chad Basin Development Authority, Benin Owens River Basin Development Authority and Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority.
Also placed on status enquiry was the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, while the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had its representative turned back.
A deputy director in the agency, Gbenga Yewande, had informed the committee that the director-general could not attend the sitting because she was attending an international event at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Oke was not happy with the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) for failing to issue constant reminders to agencies, as it was said to be aware of default by such agencies.
Also, an Executive Director with the NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank, Dr. Lawrence Akande, told the committee that even though the bank was established to drive small scale investments, it had not got any money from public funds.
He said the only funds the bank was using for its operations were the shares of the equity paid by the Bankers’ Committee who own 60 per cent of the bank equity.
The director said the vision of the bank was to have branches in all the 774 local government areas of the country.
Akande added that the bank currently has only 53 branches and hopes to complete 60 more before the end of the year. (The Nation)
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