Audit Queries:Reps Give 5 Ministers , Perm Secretaries, Others 7 Day Ultimatum To Appear



……… Begins investigation into alleged missing $40 million recovered loot

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday summoned five Ministers, their Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Finance and procurement for their continued failure to appear before it over several Audit Queries raised against their Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs by the office of the Auditor General of federation over the years

The Committee which expressed total disappointment over the attitudes of affected Public officials gave them
a seven day ultimatum to appear before it or be sanctioned in line with the law of the land.

The Ministers are those of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment , Works and Housing respectively.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Oluwole Oke (Osun-PDP) who handed down the order at the resumed sitting of the Committee said that Minister of Interior Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola should appear along with the Permanent Secretary of the Mnistry, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Head of the Federal Fire Service.

He said that the Clerk of the Committee should immediately dispatch the notice of the summons to the affected Ministries and be officially copied the Secretary to the Government of the federation, the Minister of Justice Attorney General of Federation and the Chief of Staff to the President respectively.

He lamented that the Parliament was reporting the affected officials to the Presidency who was their employer after several attempts to make them see reasons why they should respond to the the said audit queries failed.

According to him, “today makes the fifth time the Ministry of Works and Housing will be asking for another extension of time on the audit query raised against the it over the years, for how long shall we continue like this? Mr President honoured some people with Public appointments but to pay him back, they will not be alive to their responsibilities, this is very unfortunate.”

“We are only asking them to make appearance before the Committee to clarify issues on financial infractions raised by the office of the Auditor General for the federation, nothing more”

This came just as the Committee began investigation into the missing $40 million from the looted funds recovery account of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

This followed the inability of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele to tender relevant documents before the Public Accounts Committee of the House, to ascertain the status of recovered funds in the said account.

Chairman of the committee, Hon Oke insisted that the apex bank must bring all the relevant documents, demanded for by the committee to ease their investigation with a view to recovering the money for government.

The CBN governor who was represented by the deputy director, banking supervision, Mrs Iguadunasue C.I could not offer satisfactory explanations on the whereabouts of the funds in question.

This angered Hon Oke who ordered the CBN to “furnish the committee with documents of all recovered funds within seven days for proper investigation.”

The ongoing investigation is sequel to a query from the office of Auditor General of the Federation, AGF, to the CBN, demanding answers for the whereabouts of the money in question.

For four years, beginning from 2016, nothing, according to the AuGF’s office entered the account from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC despite series of recoveries made by the commission over the time in question, hence the query.

In his ruling, Oke demanded that the CBN produce a soft copy of entries of both inflow and outflow of foreign exchange so as to ascertain the amount of recoveries.

END

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