Missing N24bn Police Pension Fund : House Berates Finance Minister, Seeks Public Debate
SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives Thursday slammed the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance,Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, saying she was misleading the nation on the alleged missing N24 billion Police Pension Fund.
Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon.
Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, who disclosed this at the resumed investigation of the matter, said the minister was either ignorant or deliberately misleading the public for insisting that the N24 billion was not missing.
Olamilekan insisted that the N24bilion was missing and challenged the minister to a public debate.
"We invited you people to appear before this honorable Committee on this serious transactions involving tax payers' money running to billions of naira and the new DG of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department was honest enough to say that she just took over and that there was no document to back up the disbursement of the N24bllion.
"We further requested for more documentation in order to get to the root of the matter only for the minister to come up with a press statement that the money was not missing.
"We challenge her to a public debate where all the media houses will be present and will be on live on all television stations,so that Nigerians will know whether or not the N24billion was not missing",he declared.
According to Olamilekan,"all these documents being brandished around in defence of the missing N24billion are fraudulent,forged and fake which can not stand the test of the time; they have nothing to do with the missing money; come to think of it,the minister claimed that the money was kept in an account,in which bank and how much was the interest since it was kept in the bank? She also claimed that the money had been paid into the treasury,where is the official receipt issued to that effect ?.
" The Committee therefore requested for the statements of the bank account detailing the flows and out flows of the Account which the money was lodged at the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, between 2009 and 2012 which must be duly signed by the bank as its officials might be invited by the Committee to give evidence on operations of the Account The Committee also directed that all the relevant documents on the money that it was not missing should be brought before it on March 26.
A Director in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation,Mr.
Salau Suberu, had told the Committee that following a directive that all unspent money should be returned to the treasury by December 31, there was a mop up on December 31, 2012 in the account of the Police Pension Fund and that in the operation about N29billion was mopped up and that the amount was diverted to finance other capital projects,the claim which the Committee dismissed.
The committee declared that the submission was different from that of the minister claiming that the account was frozen when it was discovered that it was in excess and was later paid into the Federation Account as an unspent money.
The investigation was attended by the Director General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD), Mrs Nellie Mayshak, and her team and the representatives of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA