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Reps to investigate presidency, NSA committees on arms procurement

The House of Representatives on Thursday, put machinery in motion to investigate the committees set up by the Presidency and office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in respect of arm procurement.

The House has subsequently mandated its committees on National Security and intelligence and public procurement to investigate the activities of the committee and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative inputs.

It will be recalled that 13 member Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP) to investigate the $2.1 billion arms deals involving the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

Moving a motion of urgent public importance, Hon. Chris Azubogu said that during the inauguration of the Committee on 31th August, 2015 they were mandated to conclude the assignment within 90 days.

He equally said that, “a similar committee was set up by the office of the National Security Adviser on 19 October, 2015, with a similar mandate and had covered more number of companies has submitted its report on 26 February, 2016, the committee was able to verify more than 300 companies as indicated in the submitted report on 26 January, 2016.”

The lawmaker then noted that the committee after the expiration of the number of days given the committee had requested for an extension of 2 weeks to conclude the assignment which was granted.

To this end, he said that, up till now the committee had not submitted its report, this he said had led to non-payment to companies that have executed various jobs/projects leading to untold hardship on the contractors, vendors and workers.

To this end, the lawmaker said that, the committee failed to “Adherence to the guidelines on remuneration of non-Executive and part time Chairmen, members and directors of Governing Boards of Federal Government parastatals, agencies and commissions,’ of 9th October 2015 and 23rd October 2015, urging for strict adherence on payment for hotel accommodation for such members; and the Committee based on the circular should only sit four times a year.”

He however raised alarm that,  “Committee members have been accommodated at government’s expense without commensurate result, in line with the Federal Government policy in reducing cost off governance it has to be corrected.”

When the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara it was supported by majority of members.