By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed over the unaudited accounts of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, even as it’s placed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on full Status Enquiry, over non submission of audited accounts from 2015 to 2018 to the Auditor General of the Federation.
The committee equally placed the NDIC on full Status enquiry, These were the resolution of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account chaired by Hon. Oluwole Oke at the continued hearing of the “Deliberate and Reckless Refusal By Non Treasury and Partially Funded Agencies” to render their audited accounts from 2014 to 2018.”
The representative the Auditor General of the Federation Julius Dung at the session confirmed the non-receipt of the accounts, for both organisations.
Recall that the committee had last week summoned Gbemi Saraki with the permanent secretary of her ministry to explain the continued disregard of the invitation of the committee by the Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Administration, Dakuku Peterside.
But the Director General was still absent at the Tuesday session as Gambo Ahmed Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, told the committee that Peterside is outside the country on an international assignment. But the committee rejected the excuse for his absence.
The explanation of the Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemi Saraki on the reason for the non-submission of the audited accounts of the agency, was unacceptable to the committee.
The committee was surprised when NIMASA claimed not to have a management account and hence could not generate audited accounts for a number of years.
“We cannot submit an audit from when we started. We must get the closing balance as at the last time we submitted the audit., the Executive Director ,Finance and Accounts., Bashir Jamiu told the Committee
“Are you saying you don’t have management account? Oke queried him.
“We don’t have,” he affirmed
The Committee Chair asked if he was saying they do not have the balances to carry on with subsequent years? The ED affirmed that the organusation did not have the balances.
“You have management accounts and you have audited accounts. Are you saying you don’t have management account for 2012 to 2016. It will be very embarrassing for an agency like NIMASA not to have a management account from 2012 to 2018 then what are you doing there?
On the side of the NDIC the lawmakers said the last tiime. the NDIC submitted its audited accounts was in 2016 with 2017 and 2018 outstanding.
The chairman said. the excuse given by NDIC that they did not have a board for a long period is not tenable
The members of the committee then agreed that the two agencies be subjected to full status enquiry, and the Minister for Finance should be on hand to explain on behalf of NDIC.