- set to investigate perm sec
Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Environment on Tuesday made mockery of the permanent secretary, Mr. Taye Haruna, before the ministry’s defence of its 2014 budget defence, saying that he was wearing a borrowed robe.
Saying that Haruna was not qualified for his position as a permanent secretary, the lawmakers, who expressed shock that Haruna lacked the knowledge of a permanent secretary, subsequently passed a vote of no confidence on him.
As if saying that he is “not qualified to hold such an office”, the lawmakers further declared that they would investigate the allegations raised against him.
His travails with the committee began when the lawmakers raised concerns over “the poor presentation” of the budget defence document soon after the session commenced.
Hon. Uche Ekwunife, chair person of the committee, observed that before any presentation was made that the pattern of presentation of the budget document was “shabby”.
“We’re not here for a joke. This is a very serious affair. We’re talking about a very serious ministry, and we’re having this scattered document? For goodness sake, what is this? Taye is not the only perm sec in the federation,” she said.
Lending support to Ekwunife’s outburst, Hon. Titsi Ganama challenged the permanent secretary to tell the committee his background and qualification.
Promptly, Haruna replied that: “I’m a first class citizen of this country, and a chartered accountant of 27 years. I left the university over 30 years ago. I’ve had a lot of experience; so, I have the capacity to be where I am today.”
But another member of the committee, Hon. Sekonte Davies, told Haruna that he had failed to make a simple presentation as a chartered accountant.
“You’ve not shown any confidence of a perm sec, because there’s nothing in this document. In my opinion, we should allow the minister to make his brief on the 2014 budget, and set up a committee to investigate this man,” he said.
Hon. Pat Asadu, in his submission, regretted that the permanent secretary did not change from what the committee used to know him, accusing Haruna of having hands in many corrupt practices in the ministry.
“The ministry is embedded in corruption, and I didn’t expect anything more than this. I believe this document is to hide the level of corruption in the ministry. I suggest we sit down and investigate contracts awarding processes in the ministry and the allegations against the perm sec and other directors,” he said.
In her ruling, Ekwunife said that Haruna would be investigated by the committee based on the issues raised.
“There’re certain things we can’t sweep under the carpet. Your perm sec is under investigation for all the allegations made against him. Clerk, write to Mr President and head of service that Taye is under investigation,” she said.
Architect Dairius Ishaku, supervising minister, who apologised for what happened, added that he thought that all the necessary things had been done before the session.