……… summon other 25 MDAs
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, PAC, has given the Management of the 17 Subsidiaries of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a Seven day ultimatum within which to appear before it over the non-redition of the financial accounts of the affected Agencies over the years to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke, gave the order, following the absence of the Managements of the Agencies at the resumed investigative hearing on the queries raised against the Ministries, Departmts and Agencies, MDAs of the Federal Government on non-redition of their financial accounts, declared that failure to appear before the Committee would lead to issuance of bench warrant of arrest against them .
“They are to appear before the Committee on the investigative hearing on the several audit queries raised against them by the Auditor General of the Federation over the years”,. Th chairman stated
The lawnmaker raised the alarm that the Committee had just discovered that while all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the Federal Government were operating on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the NNPC has been using its subsidiaries to operate commercial banks without the knowledge of the Accountant General of the Federation, the practice which he described as illegal and unlawful
The Committee and the NNPC had for sometime appeared to have a rift over the failure of the latter to cause appearance to answer questions over how their funds are being managed.
The Committee also accused the NNPC of shielding its subsidiaries by not allowing them to appear before the committee to answer queries on their financial operations.
The Chief Financial Officer of the NNPC, Umar Isa Ajiya, a couple of weeks ago, had appeared before the committee and submitted that the Corporation was going to speak on behalf of the subsidiaries, a position that was rejected by the Committee, insiting that the subsidiaries were legal entities and must speak on their own.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, turned up after several excuses to answer the audit queries, but declared that the Corporation was authorized by law to make deductions at source to fund its operations.
He had apologized saying his delay to appear before the Committee was due to other exigencies.
But on Friday a Management consultants, Crincad and Cari Nigeria Limited in a letter submitted to the Committee dated March 12, 2021, declared such deductions as illegal.
According to it, “May we draw the attention of the Public Accounts Committee to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of A.G. FEDERATION Vs A. G. ABIA STATE & 35 ORS (2002), where the issue of Source Deduction to fund Joint Venture Contracts from the Federation Account was declared illegal and a perpetual injunction placed against such unconstitutional practices among others,” the letter by its President Elder Ngozika Ihuoma read in part.
The chairrman directed that NNPC and all its subsidiaries must appear and render their financial account, as they were expected to last week.
He also ordered that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries must cause appearance before the committee, or a warrant of arrest would be issued against them.
In the same vein, the Committee ordered about 25 other MDAs to cause appearance before it for non-rendition of their accounts within the same time
The MDAs are the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Works and Housing; Federal Inland Revenue Services; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Zenith Bank Pls Headquarters; Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria; Ministry of Justice and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Others are the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission; National Library of Nigeria; Fiscal Responsibility Commission; the Presidential Amnesty Programme; Standard Organization of Nigeria; Industrial Training Fund; National Lottery Trust Fund; West African Examination Council; Nigerian Football federation and the North East Development Commission.