The House of Representatives has expressed its displeasure over the refusal of some agencies of the government to appear before its committee on public account to answer questions over financial irregularities traced to them or clarify some records provided by other agencies.
The House of Representatives is set to petition President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of some of these agencies.
The Committee is not pleased with the refusal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority, Haha Hadiza Bala Usman and the Bureau for Public Enterprises to appear before it over sales of federal government landed property across the country.
The National Emergency Management Agency, and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund also failed to appear before the Committee on Public Account over the sales of some government property.
The chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, has directed the Clerk of the Committee to forward a petition to Buhari through the office of the Secretary to the Federation and the Chief of Staff to the President over the refusal of the heads of the agency to honour the invitation of the Parliament.
The lawmaker charged the President to compel the affected agencies to appear before it within seven days.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Nigeria Electricity Liabilities Management Company which appeared before the committee on Wednesday denied selling government property.
Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Engr S.A. Abdulazeez said told the Committee that “TCN was not involved in the sales of federal government landed property.”
“When the Power Holding Company was privatized, all assets and liabilities were handed over to the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO and so, we have no presentation to make”.
The Director-General of NELMCO, Adebayo Fagbemi, while reacting to the statement noted that not all PHCN assets were transferred to the agency, adding that some of the property handed over to him were already sold before they were handed over to them.
He said that the gazette authorising the transfer also transferred some of the assets to other agencies including the Nigeria Electricity Management Service Agency and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
He disclosed that their schedules were transferred to the agency by the gazette, adding that some of the property listed in the schedules were already sold by the Presidential Implementation Committee, the Federal Capital Territory Authority, and the FIRS before they were handed over to the agency merely on paper.
Fagbemi noted that the assets already sold should be removed from the list of assets handed over to the agency, he further stated that the agencies that took charge and sold the property 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 property, adding that the process of selling those properties is currently being carried out.
Asked whether the property was sold before being handed over to them, he said: “the transfers were done officially in 2013 by the BPE and by 2013, some of them were already sold and the proceeds were never transferred to us”.
The Secretary to the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Sales of Federal Government landed property, Kola Adeyemi, however, confirmed that the property was 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.