Reps panel orders Head of Service to refund N46.1m
• Queries alleged NDE’s N1.4b unaccounted loans disbursement
• House faults revised civic education curriculum
Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday gave Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, 40 days to refund N46,168,625.00 to the Federation Account.
The amount was alleged to have been expended indiscreetly in December 2011 for flight tickets and trainings. Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office (CSO), Office of the HoCSF, Mr. Chaa Chinyeaka, who stood for Oyo-Ita at the hearing, was asked to deliver the resolution of the committee to the Head of Service.
Members requested to see evidences of the refund upon compliance.They defied Chinyeaka’s plea to grant the office more time to enhance its defences on how the money was used.
Chinyeaka said he had expected that the documents earlier forwarded to the committee by the office would be adequate in answering the query from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF) in 2013.
The committee also queried the disbursement of N1,470,594,611.76 by National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to beneficiaries of its skills acquisition scheme since inception.
It stated that only N287,952,190.15 had been recovered by the agency since 1987 when it was created by the Military President Ibrahim Babangida administration. Meanwhile, Chairman of the committee, Kingsley Chinda, has warned agencies of government against forgery and all forms of financial abuses.
The next sitting of the committee has been slated for next week. In another development, the House yesterday faulted the revised Civic Education curriculum on the basis that it ran contrary to the provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Beni Lar (PDP: Lantang: Plateau) at the plenary session presided over by Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun.
Lar argued that the newly-introduced consolidated Religious and Civic Education was being imposed on school pupils without consultation with parents and stakeholders in the education sector.
The House, therefore, directed the Malam Adamu Adamu-led Federal Ministry of Education to ensure that religious studies which is the controversial aspect of the new educational policy be taught in schools in accordance with the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
It further called on the ministry to make civic education optional instead of compulsory subject for SSCE examination and should rather be taught under “Government” as was the case under the previous curriculum.