The need for parliament to descend on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over it’s continuous disregard to the National Assembly has been stressed.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari incurred the wrath of the National Assembly when he did not appear before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts to defend several audit queries bothering on illegal withdrawals and mismanagement of public funds
The member of the parliament representing Ede north, Ede south, Egbedore and Ejigbo federal constituency of Osun state, Rep. Bamidele Salam emphasised institutions of government, such as NNPC, which has become notorious in this regard needs to be corrected with appropriate sanctions available at the disposal of the legislature.
Rep. Salam said agencies like the NNPC should not be allowed to undermine the efforts of the parliament to ensure transparency and accountability, especially when President Muhammadu Buhari rode on the mantra of fight against corruption to power.
In his words: “democracy thrives where there is respect for the rule of law and where there is respect for institutions of government. It is not in the mouth of a body set up by law. NNPC is a creation of this parliament and not a creation of itself. It is not in the mouth of that institution to refuse to respect the institution that has been granted the power by the laws of this nation to invite them to account.
“This country is bleeding. Financially, we are bleeding and this is the institution that is saddled with the management of one of our greatest resources. If they will not open themselves to accountability, I wonder what kind of example they are setting for other institutions of government.
“Apart from the fact that this committee is saddled with that power by the constitution, it is also acting in pursuant to a report from the Auditor General of the federation. President Muhammadu Buhari rode into office in one of the mantra which is that of fighting corruption and ensures that this country is runned as an accountable institution.
“So, if the NNPC that has been indicted by a report from the Auditor General’s office refuses to come to parliament render its account and defend that report, it is high time we rise as a parliament to ask that sanctions be applied. I agreed that the letter authored and sent here should be rejected having not signed by the Chief Executive Officer.
“We should also call for appropriate sanction and order that the GMD be brought before this parliament. We have the power as a committee to order that he be brought here before the parliament pursuant to the constitution and the Legislative Privileges Act.
“I want to suggest that we wield the big stick so that all institutions of government will know that we mean business here which is to entrench transparency and accountability in the management of the funds of this country.”