Senate to Probe NNPC, Others over N3.3trn ScamFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
The fraud unearthed from the 2014 audit report presented by the Auditor- General of the Federation , Samuel Ukura to the National Assembly on Monday has attracted the attention of the Senate which on Tuesday declared that the N3.3 trillion scam alleged in the report , will be thoroughly probed.
Fielding questions on the report in an interview with journalists, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Sabi Abdullahi ( APC Niger North), said the queries raised against various government agencies, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), on alleged mismanagement of national revenues, were too grave to be overlooked.
He said that the Public Accounts at both chamber will soon swing into action over the report by investigating the accounts of agencies concerned, for the purposes of establishing facts inherent in the queries and recommending appropriate sanctions against agencies and public officers involved.
He said: “The Auditor – General is raising a query, it is not an indictment. So when he raises his queries, the essence of the Public Accounts commiittee is to invite those parties involved in the query and through the instruments of their own work , investigate all the issues by seeking for clarification and at the end of the day, where they have infractions, or infringement on certain procedures, they met out appropriate sanctions as stipulated by extant rules and regulations”.
He added that the 8th Senate , being one, driven by transparency, accountability and probity, will not in anyway sweep the report under the carpet as previous Senate and by extension, National Assembly were alleged to have done with similar reports.
“The eight senate has chosen to be different as we have stated severally since we came on board and for which we came up with our legislative agenda to make us different from the past because we are in the season and period of change and we want to seriously key into that.
“Along that line, you could see the courage that we have to make some differences from what has obtained in the past and on this note, we have passed reports of some committees like the TSA, which is a classical example. Through that exercise, we were able to save the country, N7bn. There are similar works that have been done. We want to say that since we have chosen to be different. We urge Nigerians to wait and see what we will make out of the investigation”, he added.
He however said the past Senate or National Assembly should not just be accused of not treating such reports in the past, saying the problem might be that they didn’t do enough over such reports and not just treating them at all.
His words: ” Without holding forth for the past assemblies. I want to say that it is not as if they have not been doing anything about the past Audit Reports. But perhaps they have not taken their action up to the scale that would have made a huge impact that people want to see. If that is what the Auditor – General means, I agree with him”.
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