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We Will Publish Names of MDAs That Don’t Give Account Of Public Funds – Senate Threatens

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The Senate has threatened to publish names of government agencies that fail to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to defend queries raised by the Auditor-General for the Federation in the 2015 report.

Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, made this known after the upper chamber considered the report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the annual report of the Auditor-General for the Federation.

“This is one of our major responsibilities as a parliament, to hold the executive to account.

“Whoever is given the responsibility and the trust of running any agency with public funds must be accountable to the parliament on behalf of the people,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the Senate President.

“You have indicated a certain number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) who failed to come to the committee after invitation, I want you to go through your documents, the invitation letters with reminders.

“This Senate will publish the names of these agencies for the public to know.

“This senate will insist, any public servant or civil servant that is given public fund for the public good and has questions to answer and refuse to appear to answer should have no business being in government.

“Because all of us are supposed to be accountable to the people and, therefore, if someone feels that he is not going to be accountable, then that person has no business remaining in office.

“But I want to also say that, those who turned up to defend or explain the interrogations by the Auditor-General did the right thing and we must commend them for coming, whether they were able to convince the committee that the Auditor-General was not right or not. They appeared responsible and accountable.

“For those that have been able to convince the committee on the propriety of what they did, we commend them because they followed the proper accounting mechanisms established, probably by the office of the Accountant-General,” the Senate President added.

He decried that most agencies of government have refused to comply with accounting systems put in place by the office of the Accountant-General.

The Senate President noted this was responsible for fraudulent transactions by some MDAs, urging the Public Accounts Committee to ensure that agencies of government comply with the accounting systems and procedures specified by the office of the Accountant-General.

“ From my experience as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in this Senate, most of the agencies of government do not adhere to the established accounting mechanisms that will ensure accountability and transparency sent to them by the office of the Accountant-General.

“We should go ahead and check the accounting systems established in most of these agencies.

“In my experience, there was an agency of government in 2005 or 2006 that spent N1 billion naira on what they called welfare.

“And that is to tell you that there is no system to stop this kind of thing. So, we should go ahead, especially the major agencies, and look at the systems they follow so that we stop people from doing the wrong things before we start to look for a remedy,” the Senate President said further.

Lawan also revealed that Senate would consider the eventual recommendations of the committee after it comes up with a document for consideration.

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