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Commission Probes NDDC, NCC, BPE, FAAN, Others for violation of Fiscal Responsibility Act

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The Fiscal Responsibility Commission is investigating eight Federal Government agencies for alleged violations of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).

Its Commissioner, Policy and Standards, Dr Sylvester Mordi, made this known on Sunday in Abuja while fielding questions at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said some of the agencies under investigation had ignored requests to submit their audited accounts to the commission.

He listed the agencies under investigation as the Nigeria Communications Commission, the Presidential Committee on sale of Federal Government houses, and the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

Others are the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the Niger Delta Development Commission and the National Sugar Development Council.

“Some have never complied with the Act ever since it (the commission) was set up in spite of requests, they have never complied.

“Some are short-paying operating surplus, some have never paid; some prepare double accounts and so many problems and that is why we are investigating and they block.''

“We are still investigating; we have put police team and our staff on these MDAs.

“We will soon get our reports and where necessary, report the MDAs to the Attorney-General of the Federation for possible prosecutions.

“But where we are able to reconcile and accept what the MDAs are doing, there is no point for reporting.''

Mordi explained that the agencies under investigation were listed among the 31 corporations, commissions and agencies owned by the Federal Government expected to comply with the provisions of the Act.

The agencies are expected to submit their Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for three years and prepare their annual budget based on the MTEF.

They are also expected to make allowances for the payment of 80 per cent of their operating surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

The commissioner also accused the agencies of failing to publish their financial statements in contravention of provisions of the Act.

On the presidential committee on the sale of Federal Government houses, Mordi expressed dissatisfaction that the commission had no financial record on houses sold in spite of repeated attempts to obtain same.

“We queried them, they have replied but we are not satisfied and we are digging deeper.

“A major problem is that we don't know where the money realised from these sales including the one you mentioned are lodged, but we are not saying that the money has been stolen or embezzled.

“But what we are looking for is give us the records so that we know where the money is because the law says if you sell government property; pay the money into government revenue.

“You can only defray what that organisation is owing before the sale or the cost of selling it.''

The Federal Government in its efforts to reduce the cost of governance introduced a monetisation policy for public servants in 2002.

Under the monetisation policy, public servants, particularly in Lagos and Abuja, were encouraged to own houses by buying houses occupied by them, but owned by the Federal Government.

(NAN)