- Anti-corruption group, Say No Campaign, has commended the Senate for probing federal government agencies
- The group, however, decried the secrecy with which a Senate committee has begun meeting with some of the agencies
- Say No Campaign tasked the Senate to ensure that no sacred cow will be spared during its investigation
Anti-corruption group, Say No Campaign, has commended the Senate committee on public accounts for summoning Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government and mandating them to submit their annual audit report to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
The Senate committee recently vowed to sanction the MDAs who failed to comply with the constitutional mandate.
“The news of the upper chamber’s summon of these erring MDAs right after the call from the conveners of Say No Campaign and its anticorruption cohorts to take action, is an indication of the readiness of the current leadership of the Senate to work with Nigerians in the interest of the country,” convener of the group, Samson Nwagwu, said in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, February 13.
He continued: “While we commend the Senate for its prompt response, we are concerned that these errant MDAs might only receive a slap on their wrists for the gross violation of the constitution and the mismanagement of allocated resources.
“The laxity with which the executives of these MDAs are treating the issue, by failing to appear, in person, before the Auditor General to answer its query, confirms that even these MDAs expect to walk free.”
Nwagwu stated that the Senate has a lot to prove to win the confidence of Nigerians that indeed no sacred cow will be spared.
He also decried the secrecy with which the committee has begun meeting with some of the MDAs, stressing that it is capable of obstructing transparency.
“This singular action has raised a lot of questions about the committee’s intentions for meeting the MDAs, prior to their summoning to the floor of the Senate,” he added.
The group further lamented that: “The fact that we are dealing with a 2017 audit report in 2020 is a testament to the obvious.
“The committee has pledged its commitment to clear backlogs of audit reports of MDAs from 2015 to 2018, make recommendations and transmit to the executive for proper sanctions, this is apt and commendable.
“However, we urge the committee to be transparent in its enquiry; open its session to public participation and thorough in its report and recommendations.
“At the end of the day, we want to see individuals lose their jobs and others return unaccounted funds or go to jail. Anything short of this will translate into ‘business as usual’.”
Say No Campaign tasked the 9th Senate to use this opportunity ”to improve the public sector and groom a culture of accountability and prudence.”
Meanwhile, the federal government has sought the approval of the Nigerian Senate for concessionary external borrowing of $22.8 billion.
Minister of Zainab Ahmed said the loan sought for was segmented into seven concessionary loans from multilateral institutions, adding that it was part of the 2016 to 2018 external borrowing plan.
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