Senate summons BPE management over Auditor General’s queries

    Sunday Aborisade

    the Senate has summoned the management of the Bureau of Public Enterprises to face a full scale probe into their activities from 2015 till date.

    The Chairman, Senate Public Account Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

    He said the committee decided to carry out an holistic probe into the activities of the BPE management because of the startling revelations about the agency as contained in the Auditor General’s report being treated by the panel.

    Our correspondent recalled that the Auditor General issued six different queries against the BPE management in his 2015 report currently being considered by the panel.

    The inability of the agency to defend  the queries, against it involving several billions of naira, forced the Senate panel to issue a summons on the BPE.

    Urhoghide said, “We are doing a status enquiry on the Bureau of Public Enterprises based on the Auditor General’s report.

    “We want to expand the scope beyond their indictment in the Auditor General’s report.

    “We want to look at their revenue and expenditure profile. We will look at their budget, and their Internally Generated Revenues.

    “We want to see everything they have been collecting and how they have been spending it. We have asked the secretariat to write them and invite them.

    “The indictment of the Auditor General is correct. They could not even defend the queries issued against them”

    The AuGF had in one the queries, indicted the BPE officials of diverting N2.5bn being part of the proceeds realised from the sale of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria.

    The BPE, according to the 2015 report of the Auditor General of the Federation, used the money to buy property through  Aso Savings  and Loans.

    The Chairman of the Senate Committee, while scrutinising the report on Monday, expressed anger over the diversion of N2.5bn to Aso Savings and Loans.

    He therefore asked the representative of the Director General of BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, who is the Director of Finance and General Services, to explain the reasons for the agency’s actions.

    Urhoghide asked Ayewoh to explain details of the persons that authorised the diversion of the N2.5bn to Aso Savings and Loans.

    Ayewoh said the BPE did not obtain any approval from the Debt Management Office.

    He said, “We did not have approval from DMO to pay N2.5bn from the proceeds of PHCN to Aso Savings and Loans.”

    The Chairman  accused the representative of BPE of colluding with the Aso Savings and Loans to carry out the transaction.

    He demanded the list of staff who benefited from the property acquired from the Aso Savings and Loans.

    He said the document must be submitted to the committee on Wednesday and described  the transaction as illegal.

    Urhogbide said the committee would ask the Federal Government to recover the money from the Aso Savings and Loans.

    He said, “We are going to ask the government to recover its funds which you threw away to Aso Savings and Loans. “

    Meanwhile, the BPE had in a written submission to the committee, claimed that it had the approval of the Accountant General of the Federation to establish a relationship with Aso Savings and Loans.

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