By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account yesterday gave the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Didi Wilson seven days ultimatum to provide evidence of N48 million spent on foreign training.
The committee issued ultimatum at an investigative hearing on Wednesday in Abuja, Chaired by Hon. Wole Oke, who disclosed that the committee received a report from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation which queried the ministry.
Oke said the report claimed that the sum of N48 million was spent on foreign training and that there was no evidence to show for it.
According to him, there is no visa, there is no ticket for the 23 members of staff that attended the said training.
The the Lawmaker said that the report claimed that the sum of 70 thousand dollars was paid to an unknown airline.
“We are asking the permanent secretary and the company that gave the proposal for this training that issued the receipt of N19 million; the committee is trying to establishing this training took place or not.
“We will like to remove the vail of incorporation to determine the character behind this company, we hope that there are not officials of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“This hearing is hereby stepped down until the permanent secretary is able to furnish this committee with documents to show that this training held,” he said.
The ministry is also being probed for the sum of N14 million which was paid to a Director in 2014 for the purchase of 350 smart phone and 350 tablets for staff at the rate of N40,000 each.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Didi Wilson-Jack, told the committee that she was not in the ministry when the transactions took place.
Wilson-Jack said though she sat with the directors in the ministry to go through the records, she needed 14 days to respond adequately.
The committee, however, declined her request and demanded explanations with documents to support claims in seven daReps C’ttee grills Ministry over N48m spent on foreign training.