The House of Representatives has given the immediate past Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Richard Esin, a 48-hour ultimatum, which began yesterday, to present the accounts of the bank, and refund money collected as salaries during his tenure.
Esin is involved in an investigation being carried out by the lawmakers on the refusal by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to provide their accounts to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation from 2014 to 2019.
It is required by law for MDAs of the Federal Government to submit their accounts to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, but FMBN did not render audited accounts between 2013 and 2017. This, the House of Representatives considered a serious offence.
Details: The House Committee on Public Accounts, faulted the handling of taxpayers’ money, stating that FMBN was not rendering proper accounts as and when due. The management of FMBN, however, told the Committee that corrections had been made following some infractions flagged by CBN in its audited accounts submitted to the apex bank twice.
FMBN added that the late submission to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation happened because it was awaiting approval from its board. However, the lawmakers were not pleased with the excuse, stating that it was a gross violation of the law, and in order to deter other MDAs from following the same path, there’s a need for serious sanction.
Esin, who was present during the hearing, tried absolving himself of blame, stating that he met the situation on the ground when he assumed office, but the Committee told him to provide FMBN’s accounts within 48 hours or face severe sanctions. The lawmakers also directed that for not doing what was constitutionally required of him, he should refund money collected as salaries during his tenure.