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Published On: Tue, Feb 4th, 2020

Audit account: Reps give Peterside 48hrs to face panel

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives committee on Public Account has ordered the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss, Hon Dakuku Peterside to appear before it within 48 hours over the inability of the agency to submit its audit accounts in the last four years.
The committee members are currently investigating the alleged deliberate and reckless refusal by non Treasury Funded Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to render audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, took the decision after the submission of the Director, Victor Onuzuruike, who represented the NIMASA.
The Committee described the explanations of the Director that the audited report for the period under review was ready but that it has not been approved by the Board of the Agency as unacceptable and after thought.
The members frowned at the attitude of the agency for failing to render the audited account for over four years and consequently directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the NIMASA boss to appear before the it within 48 hours, failure of which warrant of arrest would be issued against him.
While expressing displeasure over the failure of some accounting officers of some of the invited MDAs to be at the hearing, the Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke, lamented that the MDAs stayed off despite the adequate notice in newspapers and invitation letters to that effect.
He said the refusal of the agencies to render their audited accounts not only violated the constitution, but a deliberate efforts to sabotage governance in the country.
While describing the statistics of violations as alarming, Oke noted that the development indicated an outright disregard for the constitution which he said is the grandnorm of the country.
He also warned the heads of the MDAs to stop hiding under the guise of absence of governing boards that would approve their audited accounts as reasons for not coming before the parliament with the documents, warning that the long arm of the law would catch up with them.

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