BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives committee on Public Accounts yesterday faulted the claim by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that N24billion pension fund was not missing and challenged her to a public debate on the matter.
At the resumed hearing of the missing money yesterday the Public Account Committee Chaired by Rep Solomon Adeola Olamilekan insisted that the N24bilion was actually missing accusing the Finance Minister of either being ignorant of the facts of the transactions or trying to mislead the country.
The hearing was attended by the Director General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) Mrs Nellie Mayshak and her team, as well as the representatives of the office of the Accountant General of the federation and others.
According to Adeola “we invited you people to appear before this honourable Committee on this serious transactions involving Tax payers’ money running into billions of naira and the new DG of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department was honest enough to say that she just took over and that there was no document to back up the disbursement of the N24bllion.
“We further requested for more documentation in order to get to the root of the matter only for the Minister to come up with a press statement that the money was not missing”
“We challenge her to a Public debate where all the media houses will be present and will be on live on all Television stations, so Nigerians will know whether or not the N24billion was missing”,he declared.
Olamilekan noted that ,”all these documents being brandished around in defence of the missing N24billion are fraudulent, forged and fake which can not stand the test of the time, they have nothing to do with the missing money. The minister claimed that the money was kept in an account, but which bank and how much was the interest since it was kept in the bank?
She also claimed that the money had been paid into the treasury, where is the official receipt issued to that effect ?.
The committee then requested for the statements of bank account detailing how the account was operated at the First Bank Plc, between 2009 and 2012 which must be duly signed by the bank as its officials might be invited by the Committee to give evidence.