Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Reps order Oteh’s delegation out of revenue meeting

Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma OtehIn a move to enforce its resolution on the Securities and Exchange Commission, the House of Representatives on Tuesday walked out officials of the agency from a meeting at the National Assembly.
The three-man SEC delegation had gone to represent the Director-General of the commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, at an interactive session with Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The House, following its investigation into the near collapse of the capital market, asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sack Oteh on the grounds that her appointment was illegal.
The President has not complied with the resolution.
The House responded by passing another resolution not to recognise Oteh as the DG of SEC or having anything to do with the commission so long as she remained the DG.
Tuesday’s session, organised by the House Committee on Finance, was to find ways of plugging the leakages in the revenue generated by MDAs and the non-remittance of such funds to the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund of Government.
As the committee Chairman, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin, took a roll call of the MDAs present, he called the head of SEC but remarked that the agency was not supposed to be invited.
He said, “SEC was invited in error. As you are aware, the House does not have any dealings with you at the moment.
“Please, pack your documents and excuse us.”
In 2008, the sixth Assembly had conducted a similar investigation into non-remittance of revenues to government by MDAs.
The report of the investigation showed that MDAs kept as much as N3tn revenue to themselves between 1999 and 2007.
But, another outcome of the investigation was the argument of the MDAs that they were empowered by their enabling Acts to generate and spend the revenue on services they rendered.
On Tuesday, Jibrin said they had resolved to amend the Acts of all the agencies to bring them in conformity with the constitution.

Jibrin explained that the amendments would take out the clauses that allow the agencies to declare only surpluses “instead of remitting the gross revenue generated to government”.
The Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, in an address, said agencies that spend money without appropriation by the National Assembly were in breach of the constitution.
Tambuwal, who was represented by his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, quoted Section 162 of the constitution to buttress his point.
Meanwhile, about 18 of the 62 agencies did not attend the session on Tuesday.
The committee gave them 24 hours to respond to the invitation or they would risk sanctions, including the arrest of the heads of such MDAs.
Among the agencies were the Nigerian Communications Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Ports Authority, Asset Management Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

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