The House of Representatives has said it will commence the probe of some agencies of government over the alleged illegal auctioning of properties owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to the green chamber, the agencies to be probed are Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) and River Basin Development Authority (RBDA).
The House agreed to the motion after it was moved by Oluwole Oke (PDP-Osun) during plenary on Thursday in Abuja.
Oke in his motion stated that the procedure for the disposal and auctioning of government assets in Nigeria were well spelt out in Financial Regulations, 2009 and Public Procurement Act 2007 among others.
According to him, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that all revenues realised from the disposal or auctioning of public property be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
“NIMASA, NPA, NCS, NRC and RBDA had been auctioning public property not only at a ridiculous price but also without following due process.
The parliamentarian further pointed out that partial remittance or non-remittance of revenue realised from the auction of public property into a consolidated revenue fund was a breach of the constitution.
“Partial remittance or non-remittance of revenue realised from the auctioning of public property into consolidated revenue fund was a breach of the constitution,” he said.
Oke also warned if the practice continues alongside dwindling crude oil revenue in Nigeria, the government might not cope with the rising demand for accelerated infrastructure.
Following the submission, the House, thereafter, resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the disposal of public property by the affected agencies.
The probe will cover the period between 2010 and 2022 with a view to establishing the extent of the alleged illegal auction of public property and the non-remittance of revenue realised into the consolidated revenue purse.
The committee is expected to report submit its report to the House within four weeks.