Reps grill Onu over N3.408billion budget, threaten arrest of NIMASA’s DG | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

22.12.17

Reps grill Onu over N3.408billion budget, threaten arrest of NIMASA’s DG

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 Reps grill Onu over N3.408b budget, threaten arrest of NIMASA’s DG
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu

Senate tasks DG, NAFDAC on fight against drug abuse
The House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology yesterday grilled the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, over the utilization of N3.408 billion in this year’s budget. Chairman of the House committee, Beni Lar, said the explanation was necessary in view of the low achievements recorded in the sector.
Responding, Onu said despite that N3.408 billion was appropriated to the ministry in 2017, only N811.281 million, representing 23.8 per cent, was released to the ministry in August this year. He said the amount was “inadequate to fund the activities of the ministry, at least, when compared with the N4.025 billion of 2016 that was appropriated while N1.791 billion was released.”
He added that most of the ministry’s agencies and centres have not received more than 25 per cent capital budget appropriation of 2017.This, he said has largely hampered many plans and projects of the agencies, so much so that many of their projections for the year could not be actualized. In the area of security, the minister said the ministry was working on some technologies for crime control and public security using biometrics.
Also, the House adhoc Committee probing the status of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) yesterday said it might issue an arrest warrant on the Managing Director of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, for consistently failing to appear before them.The Chairman, Abubakar Nuhu Danburam (APC, Kano), who disclosed this at the committee’s meeting in Abuja yesterday, said members were disappointed that the NIMASA DG was always treating the invitation of the committee with levity.
He said members would no longer accept a situation where government officials take them for granted.The lawmakers said issuing the arrest warrant becomes necessary following deliberate attempts by the NIMASA boss to frustrate their investigation.They said, “being a former lawmaker, he should be at the forefront of discouraging such behaviour of dishonouring House invitations by government officials.
“Since he finds it comfortable not to respect our invitation and appear before us, we will approach the House to obtain an arrest warrant for him,” Danburam said.He also said some of the banks’ CEOs invited to the session could not make it but that unlike Peterside, they had communicated to the committee and that a new date would be set for them to appear.
In another development, the Senate yesterday tasked the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Moji Adeyeye, to reposition the agency and fight drug abuse to safeguard the health of the citizens. Senate President Bukola Saraki said this when Adeyeye led the management of the agency on a visit to the Senate yesterday.
He said that the National Assembly was ready to support the new Director General to reposition the agency in tackling the illegal demand, supply and abuse of controlled drugs for the benefit of the health and safety of all Nigerians.
Saraki said: “This is somebody who has come with great passion and you have to adjust and I can promise you that we are going to give all the support.“In fighting corruption, we will give her all the support. In budgeting, we will give her all the support. During the time of Dora Akunyili, she had Obasanjo; Adeyeye has the National Assembly not just the Senate. Please give her all the support because we need a strong and effective NAFDAC.’’In her response, Adeyeye said she was poised to reposition NAFDAC and ensure that it lives up to its mandate.

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