Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja and Steve Agbota
The House of Representatives has summoned Ministers of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki over alleged non-submission of audited accounts by some agencies under them to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Wole Oke, issued the summon at an investigative hearing at the weekend.
The four ministers are to explain while agencies under their supervision should not be sanctioned for failing to submit audited accounts.
Specifically, Saraki is to appear alongside Permanent Secretary in the Ministry over refusal of the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Administration (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, to appear before the Committee to explain why it has failed to submit audited report since 2014.
Similarly, Minister of Agriculture is expected to appear before the along aside all agencies in the Ministry to explain delay in constituting boards for the agencies, which is beleieved to be responsible for the non-submission of their audited accounts.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Environment are putting finishing touches to a bill to prohibit the production of plastics, which pollute the environment. A member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Tolulope Odebiyi, disclosed this in Lagos at the launch of the Maritime Action Plan for Marine Litter and Plastics Management in Nigeria.
He said the drafter of the proposed bill, who represented the chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, said the bill would be harmonised with input from the Federal Ministry of Environment to make a holistic law that would impose tough sanctions on the production of organic polymers.
Odebiyi said the National Assembly was behind the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the presentation and implementation of the action plan, which envisions the elimination of land-based sources of marine litter within five years.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Johnson Oghuma, stressed the lower chamber’s commitment to a cleaner environment.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, lamented that Nigeria was among the 20 countries generating more than 80 per cent of land-based plastic wastes that end up in the oceans.
The House Committee on Environment chairman spoke in a similar vein.
“Every legislation on the environment is jealously guarded by the committee. I urge everybody, wherever you are, behave like NIMASA, help us to save our environment,” Oghuma stated.
Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, sued for synergy among relevant government agencies and the private sector in the fight against environmental pollution.