The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating alleged fraud in the remittance of non-oil revenue yesterday barred Officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) from attending the panel hearing.
Reason given according to Hon. Chike Okafor, Chairman of the Ad Hoc panel was because of on-appearance of their chief executives which was against the rules of the House. The panel had expected both the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta and NDDC Managing Director, Bassey Dan-Abia, instead, Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs represented the NCC, while Executive Director of Finance, Henry Ogiri represented the NDDC.
According to Okafor, “We have to engage those that would not set us back because the mandate of the committee is critical to the economic realities on ground in this country.
With a monolithic economy and the fact that we dont have control of global oil market, with Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) setting its benchmark at $35, while we set ours at $38, the implication is that we are going to have issues with our budget proposal.
That is why we have to look into non-oil revenue generation and we are looking at the past four years.
We need to know what has transpired in that period concerning statutory and other sources of funds, interest paid on deposit accounts, banks used by the agencies concerned in terms of kinds of accounts, before Treasury Single Account (TSA), investment portfolios, offshore banks among others requests.
If we are looking at all of these, we must have officers who can take responsibility for whatever is given to the committee.”