Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts may next Thursday probe the financial records of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ascertain the state of their audited accounts from 2014 to 2019 and the evidence of its rendition to the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF).
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Wole Oke, during a chat with journalists at the weekend.
Oke stated that the office of the AuGF has powers under the law to conduct periodic checks on some critical agencies of the government such as the CBN, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He said the committee had written to the apex bank and other related agencies of the government to appear before it with copies of their audited accounts arising from the queries of the auditor-general within the period under review and show evidence of submission to the office.
He said that though the bank sent a senior officer as its representative in one of its meetings, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was required to come by himself.
The lawmaker said: “As for rendition of accounts, we have a referral from the House to investigate non-rendition of accounts. We have written to CBN on this and one of their directors appeared and carefully took a date to render the account if any. But if they have not, we will all see it when they appear, so that is the situation.
‘’They are coming here next week Thursday. We invited them and they honoured our invitation last Thursday. The governor could not come, but he sent a very senior director. We are talking about 2014 to 2019 accounts.
“Like I have told you, we had written to CBN just like we had written every other corporation to come to the parliament and show us evidence of rendition of the audited accounts. So the director appeared yesterday on behalf of the CBN and he took a date. So we would be expecting them to come with copies of their audited accounts for the period under review and evidence of rendition to the auditor-general.’’
Speaking further, the lawmaker gave update on some of the agencies placed on status inquiry.
He stressed that the committees has the right to direct anti-graft agencies to investigate the activities of some of the corporations if any wrong doings were dictated.
According to him, “This is to know the mandate of the organisation. And one thing must have led the committee to place the organisation or agency on status inquiry.
“We want to know the mandate, the health and well-being of that organisation because we have been looking at issues of law, the Act the Parliament setting up that agency; the performance of the agency over the years; the problems confronting the agency; the achievements of the agency, and so our findings would help us to take further legislative actions.”