Reps grill fire service boss over N1bn recruitment, cash logistics

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee questioned Federal Fire Service Commanding General Ibrahim Liman on Tuesday on the more than N1 billion spent on recruitment and logistics from 2017 to date.

The committee is probing the service over audit requests made against it by the Federation’s Office of the Auditor General, which says it found there was only one recruitment exercise during the reporting period .

The committee, however, was not satisfied with the explanations provided by Liman.

According to the committee, the CG did not support its explanations with relevant documents.

The panel therefore decided to write to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bureau of Public Tenders to demand the account statements and expenses of the service.

Several panel members also expressed concerns about the Service awarding multiple contracts.

The chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, ordered the fire chief to produce the list of names of the FFS.

In a related development, several ministers summoned by the committee failed to show up for its investigative hearing on Tuesday.

The commission on Tuesday last week gave four ministers and their permanent secretaries as well as finance and procurement officials a seven-day ultimatum to appear before it or have the relevant laws invoked against them.

The ministers concerned were Rauf Aregbesola (Interior), Ali Pantami (Communications and Digital Economy), Prof Osagie Ehanire (Health), Sharon Ikeazor (Environment), Babatunde Fashola (Works and Housing).

Oke said lawmakers were forced to report the affected officials to the presidency, being their employer, after several failed attempts to subject them to said audit requests.

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