By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The Senate has threatened to publish the names of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government that failed to defend the queries the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) raised against them.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said this while reacting to the presentation of the report of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SCPA) on the 2015 report of the AuGF.
He said: “This is one of our major responsibilities as a parliament: to hold the Executive to account. Whoever is given the responsibility and the trust of running any agency with public funds must be accountable to the parliament on behalf of the people.
“You have indicated a certain number of MDAs which failed to come to the committee after invitation.
“I want you to go through your documents, the invitation letters or the reminders. This Senate will publish the names of these agencies for the public to know.
“This Senate will insist any public servant or civil servant that is given public fund for public good and has questions to answer and refuses to appear to answer should have no business in government because all of us are supposed to be accountable to the people.
“Therefore, if someone thinks that he is not going to be accountable, then that person has no business remaining in office.
“I want to also say that those who turned up to defend or explain interrogations by the Auditor General did the right thing. We must commend them for coming, whether they were able to convince the committee that the Auditor General was not right or not. They appeared responsible and accountable.”
In his lead presentation, Committee Chairman Matthew Urhoghide said seven MDAs had refused to appear before the panel to defend the AuGF’s queries against their agencies.
Urhoghide listed the erring agencies to include the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Police Force, Federal Fire Service, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria, Ministry of Police Affairs and Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (Information Sector).