The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts, on Thursday, resolved to probe the activities of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), over its failure to submit its audited Accounts to the Auditor General of the Federation from 2014 till date
The Committee, currently investigating the alleged deliberate and reckless refusal by non-Treasury Funded MDAs to render audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, took decision when the Director General of the Agency, Hon Dakuku Peterside, who appeared before it could not give satisfactory explanations on why the audited Accounts were not remitted to the appropriate quarters as at when due.
The Committee had, on Monday, ordered Hon Dakuku Peterside to appear before it within 48hours over the inability of Agency to submit its audited accounts in the last four years, failure in doing so, a bench of warrant of arrest would be issued against him.
It described the explanations of a Director, who represented the DG, that the audited report for the period under review was ready but that it has not been approved by the Board of the Agency, as unacceptable and an afterthought.
However, when the NIMASA Boss appeared before the Committee, on Thursday, he stood his ground and insisted that reports in question were yet to be approved and signed by the Board of the Agency.
He said that he met accumulated unaudited Accounts of the Agency when he resumed as the DG and that he had started clearing the backlogs of unaudited Accounts for accountability.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Oluwole Oke, at this stage stated that the submission of the DG amounted to say that no audited Accounts of the Agency was submitted before the Auditor General of the Federation as required by the law.
The Committee frowned at the submission of Hon Peterside who, they said as a former member of the National Assembly, ought to a shining example to other Agencies by rendering financial Accounts of his Agency on time.
Consequently, the Committee resolved to probe the Agency and placed it on status enquiry for comprehensive auditing to ascertain its financial status.
This came just as the Committee also grilled the Vice Chancellors of several Federal Universities on their financial Accounts from 2014 till date and their remittances to the Auditor General of the Federation.
Some of the affected institutions are the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, University of Jos, University Ilorin, University of Ibadan, University of Benin and the Federal University of Lokoja amongst others.
The Committee resolved to place some of the Universities on status enquiry following some irregularities discovered in the documents submitted before it.