The House of Representatives, yesterday, summoned the Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside to appear before it within 48hours over the inability of the agency to submit its audit accounts in the last four years.
The Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), Wole Oke issued the summon at an investigative hearing on submission of audited accounts by non-treasury funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Oke noted the refusal of some MDAs to submit their audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, stating that the House will sanction such MDAs.
According to him, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has put in place a tripod system for checks and balances by empowering MDAs to self-audit, while the Auditor-General of the Federation is required to receive the audit reports and conduct checks on some category of statutory bodies, with the National Assembly considering the audit reports.
“Despite this workable tripod system for checks and balances, key stakeholders have succeeded in frustrating its smooth operations. The danger is that if nothing is done to fix this problem, it will create an incentive for MDAs to become reckless and non-accountable to any oversighting authority.
“Without doubts, the tripod system for checks and balance has not been allowed to work since the enactment of the 1999 Constitution. I partly blame this on the failure of the Constitution to prescribe a clear penalty for non–compliance with this provision.
“In such an instance of obvious gap in the law, the National Assembly will be left with no option than to exercise its power of appropriation to allocate nil funds to such MDAs for their failure to account for funds released to them,” the lawmaker stated.