Reps Hearing: Anambra-Imo River Basin fails to submit audited accounts in 7 years

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority has failed to submit its audited account for 7 years, ranging from 2012 to 2018, according to the report of the Auditor General for the Federation.

The startling revelation was made on Monday in Abuja at the ongoing public hearing organized by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Federal House of Representatives. 

This is a two week,”Public Hearing on the Need to Investigate the Deliberate and Reckless Refusal by  Non-Treasury and Partially Funded Agencies to Render their Audited Accounts Covering the period of 2014 _2018 to the Auditor General for the Federation.

According to the findings by the Auditor General of the Federation, Anthony Mkpe Ayine, the Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority only submitted the Audited Accounts of the year 2011, while it failed to account for the period of 2012 to 2018.

The Managing Director, Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority, Engr. Gerald Okechukwu Osuagwu confirmed that the findings were true but pointed out that he was not part of the management body as at the stipulated time, as he only assumed office on 4th of June, 2019.

“I assumed duty as the MD on 4th of June, 2019.

“However, prior to that I started overseeing their crises from February, 2019,” Osuagwu stated.

On further interrogation by the Chairman Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Oluwole Oke, the MD disclosed that he was succeeded by three Managing Directors, whose names are Michael Nwabufor, Engr. Michael Okoroafor and Engr.Onu Enuwa, respectively.

In contradiction to the findings of the PAC, the Deputy Director Accounts, Pascal Emeguru who was Head of Finance and Accounts for ten years stated that  audited account for 2012 was submitted but they did not receive any letter of evidence of submission.

The Public Accounts Committee in its ruling ordered that all previous MDs of the agency should appear before the committee.

The PAC ruling also stated that performance audit and project audit should be conducted, and that the Auditor General for the Federation should also carry out comprehensive status enquiry.

Chad Basin Development Authority, Benin/Owens River Basin Development Authority, Niger-Delta River Basin Development Authority and Sokoto River Basin Development Authority were equally called to render their Audited Accounts for the stipulated years.

Others were Cross River Basin Development Authority, and Lower Benue Basin Development Authority, all with various shortcomings and PAC ruling.

The PAC also called to account the Lagos International Trade Fair, SMEDAN, NAMA, NAFDACFederal College of Education (Akoka) Technical, Federal College of Fresh Water Fisheries Technical,(Baga), Federal College of Education, (Bichi), and Federal College of Education, (Potiskum), among others.

The Public Accounts Committee hearing had in attendance, Hon. Olufemi  Adebanjo, Alimosho Federal Constituency (Lagos), Olubukola Oyewon (Osun State), Ibrahim Abdulkahi Dutse (Dutse Federal Constituency, Jigawa), Hon.Aniekan Umanah, and Abdullahi Ibrahim (Ankpa Constituency.

Others are Hon. Lawal Shettima Ali, Usman Abdullahi, Bashir Uba Mashema,  Hon. Ifeanyi Momah, Abubakar Yarko (Sokoto State), Hon. Aniekan (Akwa-Ibom State), Hon. Zakari (Michika) Adamawa State, and Hon. Abubakar Garba Sawa(Kano State).

The Public Accounts Committee hearing which began at 11:00am was concluded at 3:10pm, and it was adjourned to Tuesday 25th, February, 2020.

Earlier, Oluwole Oke, Chairman, PAC, stressed that the Public Accounts Committee hearing is focused on evidence of rendition of audited accounts and reasons for non-submission.

He noted that the objective is to strengthening the functions Public Accounts Committee, among other benefits. 

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