Câ€™ttee summons Emefiele over AuGFâ€™s queries
James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives wednesday passed a motion asking the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to comply with the provisions of Section 50(1) of the CBN Act and ensure that it transmits to the National Assembly a copy of its annual accounts certified by the auditor.
It further settled to transmit its resolution to the Senate for concurrence as well as mandated its Committees on Banking and Currency and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the resolution.
The House position followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on the need for the CBN to comply with its Establishment Act.
He noted: â€œThat S.50(1) of the CBN Act provides that â€˜the bank shall, within two months after the close of each financial year, transmit to the National Assembly and the president a copy of its annual accounts certified by the auditorâ€™.â€
He expressed regrets that the apex bank had not been complying with the above provisions, thereby rendering the law nugatory and of no effect.
Chinda also noted with concern the need for the CBN to comply with the relevant sections of its Establishment Act, 2004 as its continued failure to comply has greatly undermined the image, reputation and effectiveness of the bank and as well undermine the oversight function of the National Assembly.
He added that the apparent breach of the CBN Act which constitutes an illegality should not be allowed to stand.
â€œUnless this illegality or anomaly by the CBN is immediately and urgently addressed, the whole essence of the said section of the Act would be defeated and rendered useless and nugatory,â€ the lawmaker added.
Hon. Albert Adeogun (PDP, Osun) said the CBN annual accounts would assist parliament in determining how the CBN makes and spends public funds.
He said it was not sufficient for the apex bank to only publish its accounts on its website but also important to have a copy submitted to the National Assembly for proper legislative oversight.
Also, separately, Chinda, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, further summoned the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to appear unfailingly before the committee on May 28, following two previous invitations which he had failed to honour.
He said the CBN had nine pending queries by the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF) which needed to be cleared.
As a standing rule in the committee, all chief accounting officers must appear to answer to all queries.
After strong condemnation by committee members over the non-appearance of the CBN as well as failure to write the lawmakers to give its reasons for being absence, Chinda ruled that the bank had been invited on April 29 and May 9 but received no response from the invitee.
He said it had become worrisome as the CBN has nine pending queries bordering on its transactions for the period of 2010 to 2015.
He regretted that the continued delay of the apex bankâ€™s appearance has the potential to slow down the planned laying of its report to the House.