Reps threaten MDAs frustrating bail out funds investigation
The House Ad-Hoc Committee investigating disbursement and utilisation of the over N700 billion bailout funds has threatened to invoke constitutional powers against heads of relevant parastatal agencies that refuses to appear before it.
The Chairman of the committee, Sadiq Ibrahim, issued the warning after calling off a meeting of the committee with the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Director General of the Debt Management Office for their failure to appear.
Ibrahim said the agencies also failed to make relevant documents available to the committee to enable it carry out its constitutional functions.
According to him, the committee had earlier written to the heads of the agencies and gave them enough time to prepare and appear before it.
He said the attitude of the agencies towards the execution of the assignment of the committee was an indication of the unwillingness of the executive to collaborate with the legislature.
Ibrahim said: “At a time when the current administration is emphasising change, accountability and transparency in the conduct of public service, we are at a loss that the agencies have refused to release documents in their domain to the parliament.”
It could be recalled that in 2015, no fewer than 27 States in the country benefited from over N700 billion bailout funds to pay salaries.
Ibrahim said many of the states failed to utilise the entire amount for the purpose for which the fund was released.
He said the actions of some of the states necessitated the formation of the committee by the house to investigate the disbursement and utilisation of the funds and to report back to the House within four weeks.
Also speaking, Henry Archibong observed that the actions of the agencies were a clear indictment of the parastatals.
According to him, it should be clear to Nigerians who is mismanaging the economy and those interested in the welfare of the country.
Archibong said: “What they are saying is that they are only interested in lending money but are not interested in how the money is spent.
“If giving us documents to help us in our investigation cannot be done in three months, I think there is a serious issue in this government.”
The agencies had sent their officers to represent them at the meeting but the lawmakers did not accept the representation.