By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives on Tuesday insisted that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation account for the sum of N1.3 trillion it deducted from the Federation Account in 2017 without approval Chairman of the House Public Accounts Committee, Rep Oluwole Oke (PDP-OSUN), stated this when Represtative of the Accountant General of the Federatioin , Mr Ezeh Ekwuemeh appeared before the Committee on unauthorized deduction from Federation account by revenue collecting agencies in that year.
He said it was improper that NNPC could take the money and no questions were asked then by the appropriately Government Agencies According to him, “They just take money and nobody to ask questions.
Even the Accountant General of the Federation cannot ask questions. NNPC has to account for the money. Aside illegally taking the money, which violates section 162 of the constitution, they should rather account. What did they do with the money,”
The Committee also queried the Accountant General over the inadequate disclosure of aids and grants to agencies amounting to N6.6 billion in the same year. Consequently, the Committee directed the Accountant General of the Federation to provide a comprehensive list of beneficiaries of the donations. Hon Oke then directed the clerk to write to the agencies based on the queries raised and the response of the Accountant General that they should give the Committee a brief of the aides and grants and what they used them for.
Recall that the Committee had insisted last week that all the 18 subsidiaries of the Corporation must appear before it unfailingly within two weeks over the various Audit queries raised against them by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation over the years
According to Him Oke, “when we ask your subsidiaries to cause appearance, it is pursuant to section 88 and 89 of the constitution.
We want to hear from them and obtain evidences from them because they are subsidiaries and there are chief executive officers.
“We have queries against NAPIMS. Yes, NAPIMS reports to you, but it is our own right in this parliament to determine how we conduct our own business. We have a mystery to cure. We want to be able to ask the MD of Warri Refinery or the MD of Kaduna Refinery questions because there is queries from the Auditor General against them.
“I am from the corporate world and would have agreed with you. But when the Auditor General of the Federation specifically listed agencies, they must cause appearance before this committee. DPR has been here and have answered all their queries.
“Our ruling is that all subsidiaries under NNPC should cause appearance within two weeks. We don’t want to engage any agency of government in mudslinging. Members of the public are asking us why we have not laid our report.”