By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives has suspended all investigations, public hearings, committee meetings and activities of standing and ad hoc committees until the lawmakers are done with their recess and resumes plenary in September.
This is coming on the heels of the investigation of the House Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols of the review and implementation programme of all existing bilateral loan agreements between Nigeria and the Chinese Export-Import Bank, amongst other committee investigations.
The suspension of all House activities was contained in a letter dated August 19, 2020, signed by the House Leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and addressed to all committees, ordering a stop to all activities.
In the letter titled: ‘Notice of suspension of activities, meetings, public hearings and all engagements of the standing and ad hoc committees’ with reference number NASS9HR/OLDR/ADM/Vol. 1. 0031, Doguwa urged the clerk of the House to ensure compliance.
The letter read in part: ”The leadership of the House of Representatives has recently met and resolved that henceforth all activities of standing and ad hoc committees be put on hold while the House is on its annual recess.
Accordingly, all standing and ad hoc committees are hereby directed to suspend with immediate effect all committee meetings, public hearings and other engagements until the House resumes its annual recess.”
Apart from the probe into Chinese loans for the execution of railway projects in the country, the House Committee on Finance is reviewing the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and investigation of N300 billion unremitted funds to the federation account by various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Similarly, the House Public Accounts Committee led by Hon. Wole Oke has been investigating MDAs over queries raised by the Accountant General of the Federation.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols led by Hon. Ossai Ossai had summoned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, and that of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to appear before it next Tuesday over the Chinese loans.