Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Thursday announced that it will probe the alleged illegal auctioning of properties owned by the FG, which was executed by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The House agreed to the motion after it was moved by Rep. Oluwole Oke (PDP-Osun) during plenary on Thursday in Abuja.
The other agencies involved in the probe are the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) River Basin Development Authority (RBDA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
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Rep. Oluwole Oke in his motion stated that the procedure for the disposal and auctioning of government assets in Nigeria were well spelt out in Financial Regulations, 2009 and Public Procurement Act 2007 among others.
He added the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that all revenues realised from the disposal or auctioning of public property be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, he added:
- “NPA, NIMASA, NRC, NCS and others RBDA had been auctioning public property not only at a ridiculous price but also without following due process.
- “Partial remittance or non-remittance of revenue realised from the auctioning of public property into consolidated revenue fund was a breach of the constitution.”
Rep Oke also warned if the practice continues alongside dwindling crude oil revenue in Nigeria, the government might not cope with the rising demand for accelerated infrastructure.
After his petition, the lawmakers agreed to resolve the issue by setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the disposal of public property by the affected agencies.
The House of reps stated that this would be done to cover the period between 2010 and 2022 with a view to establishing the extent of the alleged illegal auctioning of public property and the non-remittance of revenue realised into consolidated revenue purse, ad urged the committee to report in four weeks.
Recall in 2021, Justice Abubakar Malami, the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice constituted a five-member committee to probe the alleged sale of Federal Government recovered properties by syndicates in the ministry.
Justice Malami had said his office was not aware of any sale and did not order or authorise the sales of the Federal Government’s recovered property.
The Committee, which was chaired by the Director, Public Prosecution of the ministry was required to complete the assignment and submit its findings within one week to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Justice.
In the statement by the minister, he said,
- “It is important to set the records straight that the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has not officially started the sale of the Federal Government’s recovered property.”