Reps summon Industry Minister, SON over six-year unaudited accounts

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and the management of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) over failure by the SON to audit its accounts for six years.

The House Committee on Public Accounts particularly summoned the minister on Tuesday over the alleged failure by the SON to answer a series of invitations sent to its management.

The committee, therefore, asked Adebayo and the management of the organisation to appear before it on Friday unfailingly.

According to the lawmakers, the summons was based on information from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation that the SON failed to render accounts from 2014 to 2019.

A member of the panel, Mr Fredrick Agbedi, at an investigative hearing in Abuja, had moved a motion to summon the supervising minister since the SON had allegedly refused to answer the lawmakers.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, after Agbedi’s motion was unanimously adopted, stated that the SON was being given an opportunity to answer audit queries and defend its non-rendition of accounts for the financial years under review.

Oke ruled that those summoned must appear before the committee on Friday or it would be forced to invoke the relevant sections of the law against them.

He said, “The SON has refused to render account and even to appear before the committee for an investigation bothering on non-rendition of account.

“This agency has repeatedly refused to appear before this parliament. We do not believe that SON is bigger than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or above the law of the land.

“If they have nothing to hide, they should appear and tell us why they have refused to render account to the Auditor-General of the Federation.”

According to Oke, the organisation is allegedly holding the auditor-general hostage by not rendering accounts. He disclosed that the committee had referrals from the House to investigate issues bordering on non-rendition of accounts by non-treasury-funded agencies.

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