The Senate Committee on Public Accounts Tuesday gave reasons why Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must appear before it to answer queries raised in the audited reports by the Office of Auditor-General for the Federation (OAUGF).
Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo), Chairman of the Committee gave the reasons when officials of some MDAs appeared before the committee in Abuja yesterday.
Urhoghide said the MDAs were invited to answer queries raised on public finance spending in the 2015 audited reports of the OAUGF.
He said the report raised some queries on the spending activities of the MDAs, hence their invitation. He said many of the agencies were yet to respond to the letter inviting them to respond to the queries.
Urhoghide said the committee would give fair hearing to the MDAs to defend their queries as indicated in the report.
The Committee chair said it was the responsibility of his team to ensure that MDAs give account of their expenditure, noting that its report on interface with the MDAs would be presented to Senate at plenary for onward transmission to the Executive.
Urhoghide however insisted that heads of MDAs must appear in persons to respond to the queries, warning that there were serious consequences for breaching financial regulations.
He assured that the committee after consideration of the 2015 audited report would also consider the 2016, 2017, 2018 audited reports of the OAGF.
Urhoghide, who later adjourned the meeting for the heads of MDAs to appear on February 14, due to the demise of Senator Longjan, urged the media not to be sensational in its reports on discoveries in the report when the MDAs appear to give response.
Officials of MDAs who appeared before the committee included those of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, National Pension Commission and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
Others were the Nigerian Customs Service, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, among others.
Agencies absent at the meeting included the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Debt Management Office and Office of The Head of Service of the Federation among others.