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Reps’ panel summons Emefiele, Pantami, Nami others over N300bn spending

House of Reps

A House of Representatives investigative panel Tuesday invited central bank’s chief, Godwin Emefiele; Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami; Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Chairman, Muhammad Nami and a posse of other top government officials to clarify spendings adding up to N300 billion, following the issuance of audit queries by the Auditor General of the Federation’s office.

Among the dignitaries summoned by the public accounts committee of the Nigerian parliament’s lower chamber are National Pension Commission’s Director General, Aishar Dahir-Umar; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

The committee’s chair, Wole Oke, issued the summons to a number of Nigerian government’s ministries, department and agencies at an investigative hearing on a series of audit queries by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation on ‘cash withheld’ summing up to N182.08 billion in 2014.

Read also: Reps summon Amaechi, two other ministers over rail projects

There are also audit queries directed to the FIRS for an expenditure of N14.06 billion, to the Head of Service Pension Office for N12.64 billion and to Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Defence, National Gallery of Arts and Nigerian Board for Incubator Centre.

Also requested for questioning by the investigative panel were Federal Road Safety Commission, National Sports Commission, Federal Ministry of Defence, Accident Investigation Bureau among others in respect of undocumented loans worth N425.127 million.

The Account General of the Federation is expected to appear before the panel to answer 83 queries in its 2014 annual audit report.

The investigative panel, nevertheless, halted the queries, ordering the Central Bank of Nigeria instead to present the certificate reflecting the balance of the account at the end of December 2014 in conformity to Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution.

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity is to defend the sum of N7.88 billion unaccounted fund as stated in the audit query.

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