Legislature

House of Representatives to probe N9.4 trillion external loan, treasury bills

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to investigate over N9.4 trillion including the external loan obtained in 2014 fiscal year.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke disclosed this during an investigative hearing into the audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) against Accountant General’s financial statement and Debt Management Office (DMO).

According to some of the queries read by Hon. Oke, the oAuGF requested for information relating to the N1.5 trillion external loan, N5 trillion and N28.722 billion as well as N2.8 trillion Treasury Bill issued by DMO, and N261 million internal loan, respectively.

While noting that there was a need to furnish the DMO Director-General, Ms Patience Oniha with relevant queries on the audit queries raised by the oAuGF, Hon. Oke observed that members of the Committee were taken aback when the queries running to trillions, were read during one of the previous hearings, hence the need to give DMO officials fair hearing.

He also mandated the DMO DG to furnish the Committee with all comprehensive presentations relating to the local loans, treasury bills, among others as well other loans supervised by the agency up to 2018

Noting that the Committee is not looking at the fresh loans to be obtained on behalf of Federal Government, Hon. Oke explained that the responsibility of the Public Accounts Committee is post-mortem in nature, and depends on the audit queries from the oAuGF.

Similarly, he demanded an update on the local contractors’ debt which DMO is funding, adding that some contractors who obtained loans from banks among whom many have died had petitioned the Committee seeking for redress

While responding, Ms Patience Oniha explained that ample time should be given to DMO Team to respond to the fresh issues raised by the Committee as the Team only prepared for issue bothering on the BoI loan which was converted to Federal Government’s equity which has been settled and the liquidation of external debts

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