Once again the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and 24 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government are gearing for a showdown with the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts over accusations of non-rendition of funds, illegal deductions from source, and maintaining illegal bank accounts with commercial banks.
The Committee and the NNPC had for sometime disagreed over some unreconciled figures arising from what the lawmakers termed “illegal deductions at source” by the latter.
The Committee also accused the Corporation of shielding its subsidiaries by not allowing them to appear before it to answer queries on their financial operations.
But the NNPC a fourth night ago lambasted the House Panel, accusing it of ignorance on legal provisions that allows the Corporation and its subsidiaries to own and maintain accounts with commercial banks.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, had also provided answers to concerns by the House Panel on the Corporation utilizing funds without the knowledge of the Accountant General of the Federation.
Kyari in defending Subsidiaries of the NNPC said that they were empowered by law to make deductions from source.
But the lawmakers refused, insisting that NNPC and its subsidiaries must join other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on the Treasury Single Account.
The lawmakers also gave the Heads of 17 Subsidiaries of the Corporation a Seven day ultimatum within which to appear before it over the non-rendition of their financial accounts as alleged by the AGF or be issued a bench warrant arrest.
According to the panel, “They are to appear before the Committee on the investigative hearing on several audit queries raised against them by the Auditor General of the Federation over the years”.
Other MDAs summoned to appear before the committee are: the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Works and Housing; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Zenith Bank Plc Headquarters; Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria; Ministry of Justice and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Others include, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission; National Library of Nigeria; Fiscal Responsibility Commission; the Presidential Amnesty Programme; Standard Organization of Nigeria; Industrial Training Fund; National Lottery Trust Fund; West African Examination Council; Nigerian Football federation and the North East Development Commission.