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The public accounts committee of the House of Representatives has resolved to probe the activities of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

The chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, stated this on Thursday at the resumed public hearing on the agency.

According to Mr Oke, the investigation is because of the failure of NIMASA to submit its audited accounts to the Auditor-General of the Federation since 2014.

The committee is currently Investigating alleged “deliberate and reckless refusal by non-Treasury Funded MDAs to render audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.”

The panel said the director-general of the agency, Dakuku Peterside, who appeared before the committee, could not give satisfactory explanations on why the audited accounts were not submitted to the appropriate quarters as at when due.

The committee had on Monday ordered Mr Peterside to appear before it within 48 hours over the issue, warning that if he failed to appear, a bench warrant would be issued against him.

It described the explanations of a director who represented the DG that the audited report for the period under review was ready but has not been approved by the board of the agency as unacceptable and an afterthought

However when the NIMASA boss appeared before the committee on Thursday, he maintained that the reports were yet to be approved and signed by the board of the agency.

He said upon assumption of office in 2015, he met accumulated unaudited accounts and that he has already started clearing the backlogs for the sake of accountability.

The chairman of the committee, Mr Oke, at this stage stated that the submission of Mr Peterside amounted to saying that no audited accounts were submitted to the Auditor-General of the Federation as required by law

The committee frowned at the submission of Mr Peterside who they said as a former member of the National Assembly ought to make NIMASA a shining example to other agencies by rendering financial accounts of the agency on time.

Consequently, the committee resolved to probe the agency and placed it on status enquiry for comprehensive auditing to ascertain its financial status.

READ ALSO: Alleged Fraud: Senate threatens to ‘arrest’ NIMASA DG

The committee also grilled the vice-chancellors of several federal universities on their financial accounts from 2014 to date and their remittances to the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

Some of the affected institutions are the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; University of Jos, University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, University of Benin and the Federal University of Lokoja.

The committee resolved to place some of the universities on status enquiry following some irregularities discovered in the documents submitted to the committee.


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