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Reps commence investigation of FCDA financial activities

By Godwin Okoro
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has begun 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 nonrendition of financial Accounts in seven years running as required by the law of the Federation.

Following this development, the House Committee chaired by Busayo Oke summoned the current Permanent Secretary of Ministry of FCDA, Mr Olusola Olusade, two retired Permanent Secretaries Sir Chinnyeaka Ohaa and Mr Ajakaye as well 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.

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Speaking on the development when the Committee grilled the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Olusade who appeared along with other top officials of the Ministry, the Committee Chairman, Mr. Oke described the action of the ministry officials as a 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.

“Things cannot 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”

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In his defense which the committee countered as defective since the government is a continuous, the Permanent Secretary, Olusade admitted that the FCDA was erred for not rendering the audited accounts to the office of the Auditor General of the federation as required but said that the anomaly was already being addressed since he assumed office
He added that the audited account had been submitted up to 2019 and that 2020 was almost ready for submission but 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 to the Committee

According to Olusade, “ when I assumed office as the Permanent Secretary, I discovered the problem of none rendition of audited accounts on the 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 itself again”

A motion earlier moved by a member of the Committee to place the Ministry on status of inquiry because of the magnitude of 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 projects claimed to have been executed by the Ministry to check for value for money expended on the projects.

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