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Business News of Saturday, 13 August 2022


Reps invite Adebayo over unauthoried spending by NIPC

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo

The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, to appear before it to explain why he authorised the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to spend its internally generated revenue (IGR) without appropriation from the National Assembly.

Under the Nigerian law, spending without appropriation is considered gross misconduct and a violation of the Appropriation Act.

The summon followed disclosure by the management of the Commission led by its Executive Secretary, Saratu Umar that the minister gave them permission to spend the over N1 billion IGR.

The House Committee also rejected documents presented to it by the Commission in response to an audit query from the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Whole Oke said the supporting documents were not signed or authenticated by any authority which made the submission invalid in the eyes of the law.

The Committee, however, stepped down all the queries and directed Mrs Umàr to go back with the submission and familiarise herself with them before coming back to defend them next week Wednesday.

However, the Director of Finance at the Commission, Akwada James stunned the Committee members when he said he was at a loss while preparing the submission and therefore don’t know how to explain the items contained in the queries as demanded by the committee.

Members of the committee members pointed out several flaws in the submission which they said looked like a forged document that would not stand the test of time before the law.

Speaking, Hon 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 debt of N1billion, are you going to take the money as the Chief Executive Officer of the commission or not?”

The NIPC boss answered affirmatively that she would be glad to receive the payment promptly

In his response, Oke replied: ” Good, if your answer is yes, this Committee will allow you to go back and go through your submission, familiarize yourself with the contents and the relevant supporting documents and come back to defend same before this Committee, we are practicing the principle of fair hearing here, we are not here to ambush or harass individual or organization.”