The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has began full investigations into the financial activities of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA following queries raised against it by the office of the Auditor General of the federation for non rendition of financial Accounts in seven years running as required by the law of the Federation.
Following this development, the Committee being chaired by Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke summoned the current Permanent Secretary of Ministry of FCDA, Mr Olusola Olusade, two retired Permanent Secretaries Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa and Mr Ajakaye as well as two former Directors of Finance of the ministry for questioning on their failure to render the financial accounts despite being paid their monthly salaries and allowances as public officers of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking on the development when the Committee grilled the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Olusade who appeared along other top officials of the Ministry, the Committee Chairman, Hon Oke described the action of the ministry officials as gross violation of the Constitution of the land and against financial regulation which requires that audited accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal Government must be submitted to the office of the Auditor General of the federation at a particular time for transparency and accountability.
According to him, ” this is disheartening and unheard of Mr Permanent Secretary, we have to summon your two precedesoors in office, the Directors of Finance and others having something to do with this mess, they will come and tell Nigerians what was responsible for their failures to carry out their assignments having received their annual salaries and other allowances from the federal government and failed to justify the money they collected
“Things can not continue like this, as lawmakers we have to stop all these shortcomings for the nation to move forward, let them come and tell us what is responsible for the inefficiency, negligence, or is it because of manpower, we must hold some people responsible for the gross violation of the laws of the land, Nigeria is not a Banana republic where anything goes”
In his defence which the committee countered as defective since government is a continuous, the Permanent Secretary, Olusade admitted that the FCDA has erred for not rendering the audited accounts to the office of the Auditor General of the federaion as required but said that the anormaly was already being addressed since he assumed office.
He added that the audited account had been submitted up to 2019 and that the 2020 was almost ready for submission but which the Representative of the office of the Auditor General also countered, saying that there was no record to that effect but promised to cross check and report back to the Committee.
According to Olusade wade, ” when I assumed office as the Permanent Secretary, I discovered the problem of none rendition of audited accounts on ground, I quickly waded in, and put the officers in charge on their toes, because I know that a day like this would come and I can assure you that the narration has changed, We are putting our house in order, it will not repeat it self again.”
A motion earlier moved by a member of the Committee to place the Ministry on a status of enquiry because of the magnitude infractions in the Ministry’s submission was stepped down to allow for submission from the ministry on their claims.
However the committee resolved to embark on inspection of projects claimed to have executed by the Ministry to check for value for money expended on the projects.