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June 11, 2024

The impact of the exit of NEIC (4) 

Who else but Professor Benjamin Nwabueze (2), by Eric Teniola

From last week, continues the narrative  on the processes leading to the setting up of the National Economic  Intelligence Committee, NEIC, and the factors that defined its functions and powers

Powers of the Committee 

THE Committee shall have power to- (a) invite any person, group of persons or body corporate to appear before it; (b) call for memoranda from any person, association of individuals or bodies corporate, whether public or private; (c) ask for copies of reports, audited accounts or such other information as may be required for the purposes of the Committee and in whatever manner if deems fit from any person or association of individuals and body corporate whether public or private; (d) monitor any matter to the extent that it affects the functions of the Committee; (e) enforce foreign exchange regulations and cause offenders to be prosecuted; and (f) enter and inspect premises, project sites and  such other places as may be necessary for the purposes of carrying out its functions under this Act.

Directives by the President 

(1) The President may give to the Committee such directives as appear to him to be just and proper for the effective discharge of the functions of the Committee under this Act. (2) It shall be the duty of the Committee to comply with any directives given pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. (3) Any decision reached by the President in accordance with this Act, shall be final and binding and notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979, as amended, no suit or legal action in any court of law or tribunal shall be filed against any person for any act done or intended to be done in pursuance of any decision of the President.

Chief Paul Agbai Ogwuma (91) from Abayi in Abia State was governor of Central Bank at that time while both Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu (84) from Ohafia in Abia State and Chief Anthony Ani (87) from Odukpani local government area of Cross River State served as Ministers of Finance under General Sani Abacha. At that time brilliant economists were running the economy of the country. 

At that time also, there was the National Council of Nigerian Vision, NCNV, the Presidential Advisory Committee, PAC, and the National Economic Intelligence Committee, NEIC. 

On March 25, 1998, the three bodies were merged together and they formed the Capital Budget Monitoring Team. I was one of the Masters of Ceremony at the event, along with Ikenna Ndaguba (1935-2011). The inauguration was performed by the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Gidado Idris (15 March 1935- 15 December 2017).

The terms of reference of the team were to verify the judicious utilization of funds allocated to all Ministers and Parastatals for capital projects. Specifically, they were to verify that: the capital projects of the Ministries are prioritized, funds are used for the purpose for which they are allocated, funds are released to projects as and when due, the provisions of Financial Instructions are strictly observed in disbursement, there is a link between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the various Ministries themselves and the various capital projects they are handling and there is constant collaboration between the Monitoring Agencies, i.e. National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC), National Council of Nigerian Vision (NCNV), National Population Commission (NPC), and the internal ministerial monitoring units. 

The following persons served in the Capital Budget Monitoring Team. They were Alhaji A. Mohammed, Professor (Mrs) E. Eke, Princess (Mrs) A. Oguneye, Mr. M.S. Hamid, Mr. C.D. Gali, Dr. A.A. Owosekun, Alabo T. Graham-Douglas, Mr. Eugene C. Madu, Professor T.O. Olowokere, Professor Gini Mbanefo, Mr. A.G. Oladuntoye, Mr. C.C. Chukwura, Mr. Idakwo, Alhaji B. Albasu, Mr. I.O. Shangotola, Comrade G.O. Uluocha, Mr S.O.O. Osanyintuyi, Mr. J.O. Olaniyi, Engineer V. Ogunmakin, Professor T.A. Omobighe, Mr. Adams Oshiomole, Dr. Ode Ojowu, Mr. S.O. Majoroh, Mr. A.T. Ikomi, Alhaji K. Bashir, Professor Anya O. Anya, Professor U.D. Gomwalk, Alhaji Nasiru Maitama Sule, Mr. Olu Akindutire, Mr. A. Adejuwon, Alhaji A. Jimoh, Professor S.A. Aluko, Chief P.C. Asiodu, Dr. H.R. Adamu, Professor Munzali Jibril, Mr. O.G. Okoye, Mr. J.B. Ilori, Mr. Tunji Olaopa, Alhaji S.Y. Hamma, Alhaji Ballam Manu and Mr. Donald Duke. 

To be concluded