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Nigerians are beginning to get worried on why on complete four occasions, the headships of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, had refused to appear before the lawmakers to explain issues surrounding the total accruals into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since inception.
On Wednesday, the ad hoc committee of the House, which summoned the officials during its resumed sitting in Abuja, said in anger that on four previous occasions they were asked to appear before it were all failures and without any genuine reason.
The latest invitation was on Wednesday which they also failed, thus raising issues of official insubordination to the lawmakers, and fear of something to hide against Nigerians.
It was rumourerd that as of July, an estimated N1.65tn was expected to have been remitted into the NNPC sub-account of the TSA, but the oil giant had yet to clarify whether the money had been lodged into the account as of the period it was due.
Aggrieved Committee Chairman, Mr. Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu, said while the committee had already met with officials from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation, Baru and Emefiele had been avoiding the panel.
According to him, the committee had written several letters to both officials but that they always preferred to send representatives, revealing that “on Wednesday, Emefiele sent Mr. Kolawole Balogun to represent him, while Baru delegated Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq”.
The committee turned down the appearances and insisted that Emefiele and Baru must appear in person alongside the TSA software developer, SystemSpecs.
Danburam-Nuhu made it clear that “Once we summon them and they don’t come, we will invoke Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution and issue an arrest warrant. This is the fourth meeting of this committee on this very important matter of the TSA, but neither the CBN governor nor the GMD of the NNPC deemed it fit to appear in person, despite our invitations”.
“As a parliament, we won’t accept this. The issue of the TSA is very important to this administration. We met with other stakeholders and there are a lot of issues raised, which can only be addressed by the CBN governor and the NNPC GMD,” Danburam-Nuhu noted.