By Temitope Ponle
Abuja – The House of Representatives has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest to the management of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) over its failure to submit its audited Accounts to the Auditor-General of the Federation.
Chairman, Committee on Public Accounts, Rep. Wole Oke said this during an investigative public hearing into the presentation of audit reports of ministries, departments and agencies on Monday.
Oke said the audit accounts to be presented by the agency are from 2014 till 2018.
“Niger-Delta is not here. This is what we are saying; maybe they have skeletons in their cupboard and they are hiding.
“If we do not see them here tomorrow, we will issue a warrant of arrest.”
Also, the committee chairman ordered status inquiries for several other agencies that had outstanding audit reports yet to be submitted or had defaulted in making any submissions in the period under review and beyond.
The lawmaker ordered for “a comprehensive, holistic status inquiry” on Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Owerri, which had submitted its last audited report in 2011.
Mr Gerald Osuagwu, Managing Director said he assumed duty on June 4, 2019 but started overseeing the agency in Feb. 2019.
Oke, however, said that the previous heads of the agency before Osuagwu assumed office be summoned to “tell Nigerians why they collected taxpayers money, utilised it and did not render accounts”.
“And they have to come with the Director of Finance for the period under investigation.
“Status inquiry is hereby ordered. We have to conduct performance audit, project audit, because it is embarrassing.
“For the Management Accounts, Nigerians should hear this. In 2013, this agency collected N27 billion. In 2014 was N32 billion. Your IGR alone in 2014 was N199 million. This is a big scandal.”
Furthermore, the Cross River Basin Development Authority just had its 2018 outstanding audit report to be rendered.
Oke said: “the MD reached me on phone and said his house got burnt down and that his wife is also undergoing operation.”
The committee, however, stepped down the agency’s representative and directed that she appear with the Executive Director on Tuesday.
Other agencies that the committee ordered status inquiry include Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority, Chad Basin Development Authority, Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority and Federal College of Education, Akoka.