OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) has threatened to invoke a warrant of arrest to compel the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, to appear before it on some audit queries.
Warrants may also be issued on the heads of 17 subsidiaries of the NNPC to respond to various audit queries bothering on alleged refusal to render accounts from 2014 to 2018 as required by extant financial regulations.
The Committee gave the threats on Friday while considering various audit queries of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) brought before it.
The affected subsidiaries and other agencies involved include: Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited; Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company; Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited; Duke Oil Company Inc.; West Africa Gas Limited; Nidas Marine Limited; Hyson (Nigeria) Limited and Nigerian Gas Company.
Others are: National Engineering and Technical Company; National Petroleum Exchange; NNPC Pension Limited; Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company; Port Harcourt Refining Company; NNPC Retail Limited; Integrated Data SERVICE Limited; National Petroleum Investment & Management Services (NAPIMS) and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
According to the Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun), the NNPC and its subsidiaries have allegedly refused to appear before the House Committee in violation of the extant laws despite the House resolution directing its Public Accounts Committee to investigate refusal of non-treasury funded agencies to render their audited accounts to the OAuGF, as required by law.
The subsidiaries also reportedly refused to honour the invitation, asking the committee to deal with the NNPC instead of inviting them to render individual accounts.
He explained that the House had during its plenary session of Tuesday, 10th December, 2019 mandated the Public Accounts Committee to conduct an in-depth investigative hearing on the refusal of non-treasury funded agencies of government to be audited by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) for the period under review, with the view to ensure compliance with the provisions of Sections 80, 81, 85, 88 and 89 of the 1999 as well as Sections 15, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 25 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
Worried by the repeated disregard for the parliament, the Committee had via a 3-page letter dated 11th February, 2020 and addressed to the NNPC Group Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) acknowledged the receipt of a letter with Reference No: CFO/11.04 which detailed the response of the NNPC Chief Finance Officer, reaffirmed its stance for the NNPC Group Managing Director and heads of all the subsidiaries to submit relevant documents and appear before the Committee and give account of their stewardship.
The Committee also frowned at the NNPC’s latest letter with Reference No: NNPC/GPAD/008.5 dated 5th January, 2021 signed by Dr. K. A. Olateru, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, in which he urged the Committee to direct all enquiries about Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) to the NNPC Group Managing Director.
“We refer to your letter dated 7th December, 2020 with Ref. No: HR/PAC/SCO5/9NASS/QUE.9/984 to the Managing Director, Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) on the Committee’s constitutional mandate over matters relating to public finance management audit and expenditure and the subsequent resolution of the Honourable House to conduct an in-depth investigative hearing on the refusal of MDAs to render audited accounts to the Auditor General for the examination.
“The Chairman is kindly invited to note that PHRC is a subsidiary company of the NNPC and all budget and audit matters are handled by the corporate headquarters for the NNPC group. Consequently, kindly direct your enquiries as contained in your referenced letter to the Group Managing Director, NNPC.”