House Issues Warning to MDAs over Non-rendition of Audited Accounts

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By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday issued the last warning to the heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government, who have refused to appear before it over non-rendition of audited accounts to the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) for examination despite repeated invitations, saying the act would no longer be tolerated.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Wole Oke, issued the warning following the failure of the Chief Executive Officers of Seven River Basin Development Authorities to appear before the committee for examination of the audit queries issued against their agencies by the AuGF.

Those affected are Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority, Sokoto State; Hadejia Jama’re River Basin Development Authority; Chad Basin Development Authority, Borno State; Upper Benue Basin Development Authority, Yola, Adamawa State; Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Markudi, Benue State; Cross River Basin Development Authority, Cross River State, and Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority.

The lawmaker bemoaned the lukewarm attitudes of the heads of the agencies toward rendering accounts of the public funds appropriated to them on a yearly basis, running into several billions of naira.

He vowed that the parliament would recover all misappropriated public funds as contained in the audit queries.

Oke said: “Enough of this nonsense! As lawmakers, we cannot allow this to continue. If you are put in charge of department or an organisation, you are expected to render an account at the end of every financial year for accountability. What are we telling Nigerians is that queries are raised, but those affected have been refusing to appear before the parliament for examination. So is the AuGF telling lies against them?

“Out ruling on the refusal of the heads of the all MDAs to appear is that we will give them just the last chance to appear failure for which the committee will drag them before their employer, who is President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The committee requested the agencies to submit the following information and documents for examination: approved budget (both appropriation and Internally Generated Revenue 2018-2019; audited account and management account (2018-2019); budget performance report (2018-2019) and evidence of remittance of audited accounts to the AuGF.