House To Conduct Public Hearing On Federation Account

TAMBUWAL

The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja ordered three of its committees to conduct a public hearing on state of the Federation Account.

The committees to carry out the assignment are Finance, Appropriation and Loans and Aids.

The lawmakers, in coming the decision, said the public hearing was geared toward finding out the exact economic situation in the country.

Accordingly, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, heads of revenue yielding agencies and other related organisations have al been summoned to appear at the hearing.

The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Bimbo Daramola (APC- Ekiti), which was unanimously adopted by the House when put to vote by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal.

Daramola, while arguing on the merit of the motion, said, ‘’the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Section 162(1) provides that the federation shall maintain a special account called the Federation Account’’.

He also noted the fact that Section 162(3) states that any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal, State and Local Governments in terms prescribed by the National Assembly.

“The benchmark in the 2013 appropriation is 79 dollars per barrel, and to date oil sales has not fallen below 100 dollar per barrel,’’ he said.

According to him, the past three to four months have witnessed exchanges between the Minister of Finance and the state governors over partial releases of the allocation form the Federation Account due to the states.

Expressing concern that some state governments were already unable to meet their statutory responsibilities such as payment of salaries due to the non-release of their allocations, he noted that this was despite assurances from the Minister of Finance that the economy was in good shape.

“There are manifest scenarios in the country such as the non-remittance of full amounts due to states and improper funding or fund releases for capital projects, ” Daramola said.

Speaking in support of the motion, Rep. Ibrahim Gusau (APC-Zamfara) urged the House to do what is “right” as representatives of the people.

Rep. John Enoh (PDP- Cross/ River), and Rep. Farouk Lawan ( PDP- Kano), who spoke during the debate, also supported the motion.

Lawan said: “It is obvious that this House needs to find out about the management of our economy.”

The motion was not opposed and was referred to the relevant committees for more action