By Umar Muhammad Puma
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Taye Haruna, yesterday suffered humiliation from the members of the House of Representatives yesterday as the lawmakers passed a vote of no convince on him.
The members who were miffed at his poor presentation of the ministry’s budget declared that “he is not qualified to hold such an office.”
The committee chaired by Rep Uvhe Ekwunife at the ongoing budget defence session with the ministry expressed shock that Haruna lacked the knowledge to occupy a sensitive position like permanent secretary of a federal ministry.
Haruna’s travails with the committee began soon after the session commenced when the lawmakers raised concerns over “the poor presentation” of the budget defence document.
Committee chairperson observed before any presentation was made that the pattern of presentation of the budget document was “shabby.”
“We’re not here for joke. This is a very serious affair. We’re talking about a very serious ministry, and we’re having this scattered document? For goodness sake, what is this?. Taye is not the only perm sec in the federation” she fumed.
A member of the committee, Rep Titsi Ganama (PDP, Adamawa) challenged the zoermanent Secretary to tell the committee his background and qualification.
Haruna in his response said: “I’m a first class citizen of this country and a Chatered Accountant of 27 years. I left the university over 30 years ago. I’ve had a lot of experience, so I have the capacity to be where I am today.”
But another member of the committee, Sekonte Davies (APC, Rivers) told Haruna that he had failed to make a simple presentation as a chartered accountant.
“You’ve not shown any confidence of a perm sec because there’s nothing in this document. In my opinion, we should allow the minister to make his brief on the 2014 budget and set up a committee to investigate this man,” he said.
On his part, Rep Pat Asadu (PDP, Enugu), regretted that the permanent secretary did not change from what the committee used to know of him, accusing Haruna of having hands in many corrupt practices in the ministry.
“The ministry is embedded in corruption, and I didn’t expect anything more than this. I believe this document is to hide the level of corruption in the ministry. I suggest we sit down and investigate contracts awarding processes in the ministry and the allegations against the perm sec and other directors,” he said.
Ekwunife thereafter ruled that Haruna would be investigated by the committee based on the issues raised.