OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has resolved to petition President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of some agencies of government to appear before its Committee on Public Account.
The Committee has asked the concerned officials to appear before it and answer questions over alleged financial misappropriation and irregularities traced to their offices or clarify some records provided by other agencies.
The Committee which is chaired by Mr. Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun) expressed disappointment with the refusal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele, Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, and the Bureau for Public Enterprises to appear before it over sales of federal government landed property across the country.
The named officials and agencies, alongside the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) failed to appear before the Committee on Wednesday. It was not the first time that the agencies had failed to appear before the Committee.
Accordingly, Mr. Oke directed the Clerk of the Committee to send a petition to the President through the office of the Secretary to the Federation and the Chief of Staff to the President informing him of the refusal of the heads of the agency to honour the invitation of the Parliament.
He said the President should be requested to compel the agencies to honour the invitation of the House within seven days.
Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Nigeria Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMC) denied selling any government property or being in possession of any proceed from the sale.
Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Engr. S.A. Abdulazeez told the Committee that “TCN was not involved in the sales of federal government landed property. When the Power Holding Company (PHCN) was privatised, all assets and liabilities were handed over to the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO and so, we have no presentation to make.”
However, the Director-General of NELMCO, Adebayo Fagbemi, said not all PHCN assets were transferred to the agency, adding that some of the properties handed over to his agency were already sold before they were handed over.
He said that the gazette authorising the transfer also transferred some of the assets to other agencies including the Nigeria Electricity Management Service Agency, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
He fingered the Presidential Implementation Committee, the Federal Capital Territory Authority and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on the sales.
He said those assets already sold should have been expunged from the list of assets handed over to them, adding that the agencies that took charge and sold the properties should be in a better position to explain where the money realised from the sale was kept.
He said NELMCO only recently got approval from the Bureau of Public Enterprises to begin the sale of about 52 government properties, adding that the process of the sales is currently being carried out.
The Secretary to the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Sales of Federal Government landed property, Kola Adeyemi, however confirmed that the properties were sold and the proceeds deposited in a special account at the CBN created for that purpose.
He said the Committee never had access to the proceeds as the transaction was carried out in line with Presidential directives.