MDAs think lawmakers are useless; we’ll deal with their bosses: Reps

The House of Representatives expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) executive secretary, Sonny Echono, to appear for an investigative hearing to defend the agency’s activities.

The House Committee on Federal Character chairman, Rep Idris Wase, did not hide his anger over Echono’s failure to turn up even after several invitations.

Mr Wase also knocked the Industrial Training Fund, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, and the National Sugar Development Council for failing to honour the committee’s invitation.

He said they had taken the committee for granted over their persistent refusal to honour invitations and that, henceforth, it would not be tolerated.


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The representative of the TETFund boss at the meeting, Babatunde Oladeji, told the committee that Mr Echono was away on official leave.

Mr Wase stressed that all government agencies must be accountable and transparent to the Nigerian people. He said they would be sanctioned in accordance with the law if they continue to avoid the parliament.

He said, “You must be accountable to the House. This is the last time. Next time, the committee would invoke its powers provided for in the Constitution. You are appearing before the House of Representatives committee and we are not going to take this nonsense any longer.

“This is a House that you should be giving account to. And I don’t know the instrument that gave you the power to operate. The same parliament that gave you the powers, what makes you think that they are useless here. We are here on behalf of all Nigerians. We keep writing and you keep neglecting us. Where do you draw your powers from? You are spiting the entire country.”

The lawmaker added, “We cannot let any agency or ministry take us for granted because without us, they don’t exist. It is unacceptable for them to keep disrespecting this committee.”

He said because of the way heads of agencies were treating the parliament with levity, the committee had to advertise in three national dailies apart from the letters.

“I am disappointed with the ES of Tetfund. He was a former federal perm sec. I expect him to be more compliant than any other person,” stated the legislator.

Mr Wase added that it was obligatory for the TETFund boss to know the rudiments of civil service better.

”He chose to neglect it. We will not take it. This is your last warning. Tell him that the committee is not willing to go the way he thinks. Or take the committee for granted. But if he thinks he has the power to do that, then we shall meet at the appropriate point.

“We will make every chief executive accountable. They should not test the will of the committee,” Mr Wase told the representative of the Tetfund boss.

 

[Peoples Gazette ]

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