House Wants Perm Sec Sacked For Incompetence, Begins Investigation
BEVERLY HILLS, March 04, (THEWILL) - Members of the House of Representatives have begun investigations into the allegations of corruption and incompetence against the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr.
The committee equally passed a vote of no confidence on the Permanent Secretary, insisting that he lacks the wherewithal to occupy such a high position in government.
However, Haruna, in a reaction to the allegation, denied being incompetent, saying he was a qualified accountant and merited the office and position.
Chairman of the Environment Committee, Hon.
Uche Ekwunife, and her members had expressed dismay with the "shabby' presentation from the Permanent Secretary.
In a stern warning to Haruna, Ekwunife had said : 'We're not here for joke.
This is a very serious affair.
We're talking about a very serious ministry, and we're having this scattered document? For goodness sake, what is this? Taiye is not the only Perm Sec in the federation.
"There're certain things we can't sweep under the carpet.
Your Perm Sec is under investigation for all the allegations made against him.
Clerk, write to Mr.
President and Head of Service that Taiye is under investigation.
' Another member of the committee, Hon.
Titsi Ganama, had questioned the Permanent Secretary's educational qualification and asked him to prove himself before the committee.
Sekonte Davies in his contribution expressed disgust that the Permanent Secretary's performance had fallen beyond minimum expectations and doubted his qualification as a chartered accountant.
"You've not shown any confidence of a Perm Sec, because there's nothing in this document.
In my opinion, we should allow the minister to make his brief on the 2014 budget and set up a committee to investigate this man," Davies said.
Also lambasting the Permanent Secretary, Hon.
Pat Asadu accused the Permanent Secretary of involvement in many corrupt deals in the ministry.
According to him, "The ministry is embedded in corruption, and I didn't expect anything more than this.
I believe this document is to hide the level of corruption in the ministry.
I suggest we sit down and investigate contracts awarding processes in the ministry and the allegations against the Perm Sec and other directors.
" But defending himself, the Permanent Secretary declared: "I'm a first class citizen of this country and a chartered accountant of 27 years.
I left the university over 30 years ago.
I've had a lot of experience, so I have the capacity to be where I am today.
" While making his presentation, supervising Minister of the ministry, Mr.
Darius Ishaku, apologised to the committee for the lapses observed in the budget, saying he thought the necessary things were done before the session.
In a related development, the House Committee on FCT has expressed disappointment with the the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for failing to complete the light rail project within the territory by December 2013 and charged the minister to ensure its completion before the end of 2014.
Chairman House of Representatives Committee on FCT, Hon.
Emmanuel Jime, while addressing the minister and officials of the ministry at the 2014 budget defence, said the rail project which was originally slated to be completed by 31 December, 2013 has only attained 38 percent completion.
He expressed displeasure at the manner the management of the FCT was handling the project, saying "this project because of its importance to the general populace of the FCT, needs to be completed on time to ease the transport difficulties faced by Abuja residents.
"I'm surprised to see that only paltry sum of N1 billion has been allocated in 2014 and appropriated for the Abuja light rail project, whereas the requirement for counterpart funding is N9billion yearly,' he stated.
He said the committee had confirmed that the lower Usman Dam Water Treatment Plan which stores three million cubic metres of water has been completed and ready for consumption and yet it has not been put to use.
Also, the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing project at the Millennium Town which was expected to host the Nigerian centenary celebration.
The centenary celebration has ended, as we all know and the project is only 28 percent completed.
In his response, the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said "with regard to the light rail project, the completion period has to change because we re-conceptualised the project because of the financing programme and plan of the project that has to do with external borrowing.
" Similarly, the House Committee on Works has expressed displeasure over the decline in the funds allocation to the works ministry over the past few years.
But in his presentation, the Minister of Works, Arch.
Mike Onelememen, explained that there was a decrease in the ministry's allocation from that of last year.
He said the sum of N161 billion was proposed for capital projects, out of which the main ministry would take N141 billion and other parastatals and agencies would gulp about N20 billion.
Chairman of the committee, Hon.
Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, decried the allocation, saying "this is not a cheery news at all for the works ministry.
" According to him, "This is a very important ministry, and we find this unacceptable.
We are concerned by the poor releases of funds to the ministry and its agencies.
The entire capital budget will not be enough to settle previous debts.
This means no new projects will be carried out.
" SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA