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Audit query: Reps dismiss investment commission’s defence

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts, on Wednesday, dismissed the written presentation by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission in response to queries issued against it by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

The committee said the documents were not signed or authenticated by any authority which, according to the lawmakers, made the submission invalid in the eyes of the law.

Consequently, the committee stepped down all its queries and directed its new Executive Secretary, Saratu Umàr, to go back, familiarise herself with the process of defending audit queries and come back on Wednesday next week.

The Director of Finance, NIPC, James Akwada, had stunned the lawmakers while defending the submission, admitting that he did not understand the process.

Several members of the committee pointed out various flaws in the submission.

Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke said, “Madam Executive Secretary, agreed that you just came to the office but if today, one of the debtors of the Commission shows up to pay a debit of N1bn, are you going to take the money as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission or not?”

Umar answered the question affirmatively.

Oke continued, “Good! If your answer is yes, this committee will allow you to go back and go through your submission, familiarise yourself with the contents and the relevant supporting documents, and come back to defend the same before this committee.

“We are practising the principle of fair hearing here; we are not here to ambush or harass individuals or organisations.”

The committee also faulted the claim by the Commission that its supervising Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, gave it an approval to spend its over N1bn Internally Generated Revenue, describing it as illegal and unacceptable.

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