- Â Câ€™ttee probes utilisation of funds by federal varsities, medical centers
James Emejo in Abuja
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is expected to declare open the Legislative Economic Summit which is being organised by the leadership of the House of Representatives.
The two-day summit, themed: â€˜Legislative Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development will hold between November 6 and 7 with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma expected to participate.
Other dignitaries including the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State are expected to make presentations at the August occasion.
Chairman, Tactical Committee on Economic Recession, Hon. Bode Ayorinde, said the event would afford policy makers, members of the parliament at both federal and state levels, captains of industries, the academia, organised labour, civil society and non-governmental organisations the opportunity to interface and proffer lasting solution to the economic downturn in the country.
He said: â€œThe House is concerned that as a result of the economic recession, commercial banks recently reviewed upward interest paid on credits, to the effect that consumers of bank credit facilities now pay higher while the exchange rate between the naira and the dollar has not only been viewed as unstable, but highly polarised and progressively depreciating against the dollars.
â€œTodayâ€™s multifaceted economic crises and fast changing world calls for a close partnership and active collaboration between the National Assembly and other arms of government as well as the international organisations, the civil society groups, academia and the media. The House is completely disposed to embrace any form of partnership that will help deliver on the objectives of this summit.â€
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Public Accounts has commenced large scale investigation into the finances and expenditures of the 37 federal universities across the country with respect to their level of compliance with the Public Service Financial Regulation. The probe came on the heels of pending queries by the office of the Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF) since 2014 urging the National Assembly to compel the institutions in question to explain rationale behind their violation of the PSFR.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) therefore, grouped its members in six different teams to cover the varsities spread in the geo-political zones in the investigations.
While inaugurating the sub-committees, he gave them four weeks to conclude the probe and turn in their reports.
Also to be investigated are 11 River Basins as well as all the Federal Medical Centres across the country with a view to ascertaining their level of contribution to the national economy and compliance with extant establishment Acts of Parliament.
Chinda said: â€œOur major concern is the funds that you have received and not the ones that you havenâ€™t received or generated.â€