The House of Representatives yesterday directed its Committee on Communication to embark on investigation of the whereabouts of the proceeds realised from the sale of non-core assets of the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL).
The decision followed a motion raised by Hon Ali Yakubu (PDP, Yobe), who asked the committee on communication to investigate the entire process, which was kick-started in 2005, and report back in three weeks.
While speaking on the motion, Yakubu noted with concern that since the exercise had been concluded, there had been no remittance of the proceeds from the NITEL and MTEL’s non-core assets sales to the federation account.
The lawmaker drew the attention of his colleagues to the fact that the federal government had through the Bureau for Public Enterprise commenced the process of liquidation of the non-core assets as far back as 2005.
Yakubu explained that in repositioning NITEL and MTEL, “the federal government appointed a liquidator to take over and sell all the non-core assets” of the two companies.
He noted that the non-core assets of the two companies run into billions of naira, Yakubu regretted that “the liquidator had actually commenced the sale without remitting the amount realised to the appropriately designed account of the federal government of Nigeria.”
He alleged that the billions of naira realised from the sales “may have been fraudulently frittered away without proper accountability, to the detriment of the federal government of Nigeria”.
According to him, “The House would be failing in its duties, as a parliament saddled with the responsibility of ensuring probity and accountability in government transactions, if it does not act now in a matter that involves a national asset like NITEL and MTEL”.
The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal therefore directed the House Committee on Communication to investigate the matter and report back to the House in two weeks.