By Tope Omogbolagun
The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating non-remittance to the National Housing Fund and utilisation of funds from 2011 to date on Thursday warned that the chief executive officers who failed to honour its invitation risk being subpoenaed.
The committee consequently gave the defaulting banks Thursday next week to appear with all the required information.
It also insisted that the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, and the acting governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Folashidun Shonubi, must next Thursday appear in person before the panel.
Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Musa Bagos, who disclosed this at the Thursday’s sitting of the committee frowned upon the attitude of CEOs who would always give excuses to have travelled out of the country whenever they were invited to appear before the parliament.
Bagos noted that much as the committee would want to give fair hearing to every stakeholder, it will not hesitate to invoke the provisions of the law against anyone that attempts to undermine its authority or sabotage the investigation.
He said, “We will not tolerate a situation whereby CEOs shy away from coming up to give evidence. Each time all the CEOs claim they have travelled abroad.
“We insist on having the Accountant General of the Federation and the acting governor of the CBN appear before this committee unfailingly next Thursday at 11am. We are not going to entertain their representatives.”
The director, banking supervision, Mr. Haruna Mustapha, who represented the CBN governor was asked to go back.
The committee equally rejected taking any evidence from the director of IPPIS, Mr. Emma Deko, who represented the AGF insisting that she must appear in person.
Bagos said, “Today, we invited all the banks but only UBA, Zenith, Heritage and Sterling Bank. We’ll not take it lightly with the absentee banks any longer. They must appear next Thursday”
At the Thursday’s sitting, only representatives of the CBN, FMBN, UBA, Sterling Bank, Heritage Bank and Zenith Bank were present.
Although, the committee accepted the presentation from UBA, which was presented by Mr. Eke Ogba, regional head; that of Heritage Bank, presented by regional head, Abuja, Mr. Oniko Daniel; and that of Zenith Bank presented by DGM Carl Akwarandu, they were asked to further submit details of their investments in the NHF when their CEOs appear on Thursday.
Also present were representatives of the gateway payment: Remita, e-Tranzact and NIP. However, they were asked to go and come with their CEOs on Thursday.