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Reps petition Buhari against NNPC, CBN, NPA, others

The House of Representatives has said that it will petition President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of some agencies of government to appear before its public accounts committee (PAC) on allegations of financial irregularities levelled against them.
Consequently, chairman of the committee, Hon. Wole Oke, yesterday directed the clerk to forward a petition to the president through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Chief of Staff to the President on the matter.
The committee said it is unhappy with the refusal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele; Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Melee Kyari; Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman and the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to appear before it over sales of Federal Government’s landed property across the country.
Also among the defaulting MDAs are the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Oke said the president should compel the agencies to honour the invitation of the House within seven days.
However, at its hearing yesterday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Nigeria Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO) denied selling any government property or being in possession of any proceeds from the sale.
Managing Director of TCN, Engr. S.A. Abdulazeez, told the committee that “TCN was not involved in the sales of Federal Government landed property. When the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was privatised, all assets and liabilities were handed over to NELMCO and so, we have no presentation to make.”
In his presentation, Director General of NELMCO, Mr. Adebayo Fagbemi, said not all PHCN assets were transferred to the agency, adding that some of the properties handed over to him were already sold before they were handed over.
He said that the gazette authorising the transfer also transferred some of the assets to other agencies, including the Nigeria Electricity Management Service Agency and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
Fagbemi disclosed that their schedules were transferred to the agency by the gazette, adding that some of the properties listed in the schedules were already sold by the Presidential Implementation Committee, the Federal Capital Territory Authority and the FIRS before they were handed over to the agency merely on paper.
He explained that assets already sold should have been expunged from the list of assets handed over to them, adding that the agencies that took charge and sold the properties should be in a better position to explain where the money realised from the sale was kept.
According to him, NELMCO recently got approval from the BPE to begin the sale of about 52 government properties, adding that the process of selling those property is currently being carried out.
He said “the transfers were done officially in 2013 by the BPE and by 2013, some of them were already sold and the proceeds were never transferred to us.”
Testifying, the secretary to the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Sales of Federal Government landed property, Mr. Kola Adeyemi, however, confirmed that the properties were sold and the proceeds deposited in a special account at the CBN created for that purpose.
He said the committee never had access to the proceeds as the transaction was carried out in line with presidential directives.

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