Reps to probe Buhari’s Committee on Arms Procurement investigation

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By; JOSHUA I. EGBODO, Abuja.
The House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled plans to probe the activities of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement set up by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 13 member Committee was set up on 31th August, 2015 to investigate the $2.1 billion arms deals involving the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
The House has therefore mandated the Committee on National Security and Intelligence to investigate the activities of the presidential committee and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of the motion sponsored by Chris Azubogu  (PDP-Anambra) who accused the Committee of contravening Federal Government’s policy.
According to the lawmaker, the committee which was given 90 days to conclude its assignment on the review of all procurements undertaken by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, only got approval for additional two weeks requested for to conclude its work.
He however noted that the Committee up till now “has not submitted its report, this has led to non-payments to companies, that have executed various jobs/projects leading to untold hardship on the contractors, vendors and workers.”
According to him, a similar Committee set up by the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on the 19th October, 2015 with a similar mandate, which covered covered more number of companies had submitted its report on the 26th February 2016, adding that the Committee was able to verify more than 300 companies as indicated in its submitted report on the 26th January 2016.
He observed that the activities of the Committee contravenes Federal Government’s circular on ‘Adherence to the guidelines on remuneration of non-Executive and part time Chairmen, members and directors of Governing Boards of Federal Government parastatals, agencies and commissions,’ of 9th October 2015 and 23rd October 2015, urging for “strict adherence on payment for hotel accommodation for such members; and the Committee based on the circular should only sit four times a year.”
He further argued that the “Committee members have been accommodated at government’s expense without commensurate result, in line with the Federal Government policy in reducing cost off governance it has to be corrected.”

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