House Express Dismay Over Five-year Unaudited

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The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday expressed dismay over the failure of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to audit their accounts for five years, describing it as worrisome and gross violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The Chairman of the committee Hon. Oluwole Oke, at an investigative hearing on audit queries by Auditor-General of Federation on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), had grilled the Managing Director of FMBN, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, and other officials of the agency on the unaudited accounts.

Oke expressed dissatisfaction with non-compliance of the agencies to the extant provision of the laws on audited accounts despite having made previous appearances before the committee on the contentious issue.

The lawmaker also queried why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) had not paid up their 30 percent and 20 percent equity capital as shareholders of the bank as stipulated by the FMBN Establishment Act.

In his response, the bank MD, Dangiwa, hinted that the present management of the bank had inherited the five years unaudited accounts from their predecessors in office, and that they have made efforts to clear it.

He explained that the federal government owned and had paid N60 million out of the N1.5 billion being its share of equity in the bank.

On the percentage equity shareholders capital in the mortgage bank, he said the federal government owns 50 percent, while the CBN and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund own 30 and 20 percent respectively.

Dangiwa, however, informed the lawmakers that the audited accounts are ready but are awaiting agency’s board approval.

In his ruling, the committee chairman urged the Clerk to write to the appropriate authorities in the CBN and NSITF asking them to pay up their equity shareholding in the mortgage institution.

Earlier, the committee had turned down the presentation by a representative of the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, who sent his apologies for not being able to attend the hearing.

The lawmakers insisted that the TETFUND boss must appear unfailingly on February 5.