House Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adokie, Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Lands and Housing, as well as members of the former and current technical boards over alleged N13 billion scam in Federal Housing Authority.
The committee also fixed 27-29 of this month for an investigative hearing on the various roles of those alleged to have disbursed the funds.
Chairman, House Committee on Pubic Accounts, Rep Adeola Olamilekan made this known in a meeting when the Federal Housing Authority, FHA management team led by the MD, Mr. Terver Gemade could not explain how N13 billion of tax payers money was spent.
The breakdown of how the money was expended is as follows: N7.21 billion granted as loan from the Federal Government for the construction of housing units to accommodate civil servants at the Gwarinkpa 2 Estate in Abuja, between 2007 and 2009 financial years.
But this money according to the Auditor-General to the Federation, allegedly was diverted into the construction of infrastructural facilities which was not budgeted for and the loan remained unpaid despite reminders to the Managing Director of FHA for payment.
Another N1 billion said to be an interest for a period of 24 months which the FHA claimed was not the practice of the Federal Government to give its agencies loans on commercial basis for interests.
The FHA was also accused of another N3.72 billion as deficit operating surplus which the MD of FHA attributed to a large board that had contributed to the high operating cost over the years.
The agency was also accused of obtaining unapproved loan of N1.038 billion from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria as against the Act setting it up which limited its loan capacity to only N200,000.00.
The AGF also unearthed that several payment vouchers amounting to N338million were missing and the management could not give a concrete account of the vouchers.
However, defending the allegations, the MD of FHA, Arc Terver Gemade said that most of the transactions happened before he assumed office in 2009.
Gemade said that the loan of N1billion obtained from FMBN has been fully paid while that of interest of the N7billion was yet to be paid and arrangement has been for its payment.
When asked, whether the agency was set up by a Decree or an Act of NASS, Gemade said he was not aware of the law setting up the place.
This response angered all members of the committee who said that the agency he heads must have been operating illegally based on the answer of the MD.
Consequently, the committee resolved to embark on a 3 day hearing on the activities of FHA to ascertain its continued relevance or otherwise. [Vanguard]