•……. Summon Federal Ministry of Water Resources
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representative ad hoc Committee investigating the Federal Ministry of Water Resources over the disposal of assets belonging to the 12 River Basin Development Authority in 2018 has said that it look deep into alleged illegal auctioning of government properties by Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Railway Corporation, River Basin Development Authority, Railway Corporation and Nigeria Customs.
This was just as the Committee insisted that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources must be invited to appear before the Committee l directly.
The Managing Directors of the River Basin Development Authorities in the country who appeared before the committee on Monday said the Ministry was responsible for sale of property in 2018 because the agencies had no Governing Board.
The leadership of the RBDA told the committee that the Ministry were Responsible for the advertisement and selection of Auctioneers who were responsible for that auction of the properties, adding that most of the questions about the auction can only be answered by the Ministry.
But the Chairman of the committee and House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonbvere (APC-Edo) said the committee was not satisfied with the explanation from the Managing Directors, adding that the Committee has no choice than to invite the Ministry.
Ihnovbare said “I want to assure you for now that we are not very satisfied and that is because you did not preside over this process.
“We are not satisfied with the disconnects in the contents in some of the documents; we will require that you come back after we deduce some of those documents directly from the ministry on behalf of your agencies.
“We will also invite the ministry to deal with us directly,” he said.
The House Leader said the committee is out to investigate alleged illegal auctioning of government properties by Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Railway Corporation, River Basin Development Authority, Railway Corporation and Nigeria Customs.
According to him, the committee will rely on the relevant sections of the Constitution, the Standing Orders of the House and inherent jurisdiction of the National Assembly to achieve it mandate.
“In the course of this work, we have written letters to all the agencies concerned requesting for information on the subject matter, and many of you did not bother to respond to our letter.
“We hope to physically visit the Agencies, examine your books and conduct physical inspection of all public properties acquired to determine the ones sold and procedures adopted for the exercise.
“As the representatives of the Nigerian people we will deploy all constitutional means to ensure that we achieve the mandate of the House,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Lower Niger Basin Development Authority, Dr Adeniyi Aremu said he and other colleagues were appointed in 2018, adding that that the process of auctioning of the items in their custody was has already commenced before the assumed duty.