The House of Representatives on Monday gave the immediate past Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr Richard Esin, a 48-hour ultimatum to render the accounts of the bank or face severe sanctions.
The committee consequently summoned Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; and the Director of Finance and Administration at the FMBN over the development.
Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Wole Oke, issued the directive at an investigative hearing on the refusal by ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to render their accounts to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation from 2014 to 2019.
The committee expressed displeasure at how officials of the bank were playing with taxpayers’ money put in their care by not rendering proper accounts as and when due.
The management of the FMBN, represented by Mr Abiye Yagboyaju, had told the committee that the CBN queried some infractions in the audited accounts submitted to the apex bank twice and that necessary corrections had been made.
Yagboyaju said the mortgage bank was only waiting for the approval of its board before submitting the audited accounts to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation as required by law.
The committee, however, described the explanation as unacceptable, describing it as a gross violation of the law which should be seriously sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to other MDAs.
Esin, who accompanied the FMBN to appear before the committee, had also claimed that he met the situation on the ground when he assumed office.
The lawmakers, however, dismissed Esin’s explanation as unacceptable.
The committee directed him to, within the next 48 hours, get the accounts ready and transmit them to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, with the proof to be brought before the lawmakers.
It also asked Esin to refund money collected as salaries during his tenure for not doing what was constitutionally required of him.
Oke said for the FMBN not to render audited accounts between 2013 and 2017 constituted a serious offence.
The committee had placed the FMBN on status enquiry two weeks ago when its management first appeared before it, following the various infractions noticed in the audited accounts submitted to it.