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Thursday, July 18, 2024

TETFund boss absent at Reps’ investigative hearing

The House of Representatives has expressed dissatisfaction over failure of the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono, to appear for an investigative hearing to defend the activities of the agency.

The chairman, House Committee on Federal Character, Rep Idris Wase, did not hide his anger over Echono’s failure to turn up even after several invitations.

Wase also knocked the Industrial Training Fund, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, and the National Sugar Development Council for also failing to honour the committee’s invitation.

He said they were taking the committee for granted over their persistent refusal to honour invitations and that, henceforth, it would not be tolerated.

The representative of the Executive Secretary of TETFund at the meeting, Babatunde Oladeji, told the committee that the ES was away on official leave.

Wase stressed that all agencies of government must be accountable and transparent to the Nigerian people. He said henceforth, they would be sanctioned in accordance to the law if they continue to avoid the parliament.

He said, You must be accountable to the House. This is the last time. Next time the committee would invoke its powers provided for in the constitution

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“You are appearing before the House of Representatives Committee and we are not going to take this nonsense any longer.

“This is a House that you should be giving account to. And I don’t know the instrument that gave you the power to operate.

“The same parliament that gave you the powers, what makes you think that they are useless here. We are here on behalf of all Nigerians.

“We keep writing and you keep neglecting us. Where do you draw your powers from? You are spiting the entire country,” he said

According to him, we cannot let any agency or ministry take us for granted because without us, they don’t exist. It is unacceptable for them to keep disrespecting this committee.”

He said because of the way heads of agencies were treating the parliament with levity, the committee had to advertise in three national dailies apart from the letters.

“I am disappointed with the ES of TETFund. He was a former federal perm sec. I expect him to be more compliant than any other person.

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He added that it was obligatory of the ES to know the rudiments of civil service better.
”He chose to neglect it. We will not take it.

“This is your last warning. Tell him that the committee is not willing to go the way he thinks. Or take the committee for granted.

“But if he thinks he has the power to do that, then we shall meet at the appropriate point.

“We will make every chief executive accountable. They should not test the will of the committee,” he told the representative of the TETFund boss.(NAN)

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