Allegations of fictitious contract awards and mismanagement of billions of naira by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) must be investigated in order to ensure that the masses are not cheated out of the commonwealth of the nation, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, has said.
He said this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the investigative hearing organised by the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration on alleged corrupt practices in Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the National Assembly.
Hon Dogara said, “It is imperative to dig out the truth of these alleged corrupt practices in NIMASA so that an end can be put to such economic crimes, if they are proven to be true, to enable the masses enjoy their legitimate benefits from our common dividends.”
He noted that the House of Representatives has always taken the issue of diligent investigation of alleged economic crimes with all seriousness, resulting in the uncovering of massive fraud and eventually leading to more tranparency and accountability by all arms and agencies of government.
“This is in pursuance of the thematic issues in our Legislative Agenda to effect public demand for transparency and accountability by all Arms and Agencies of Government. I am happy to note that some of these investigations produced revelations of corrupt practices and have helped to prevent wastages of public resources within our Legislative purview as well as funds appropriated by us”, he stated.
He continued, “Only yesterday, this Committee held a Public Hearing on a Bill For an Act to Establish The Maritime Security Agency to Promote Maritime Security, Among Other Things. This shows the premium attention given to the sector by the House of Representatives due to its contributions to the development of the country, and its potentials to contribute much of the needed revenue for the stabilization of our ailing economy.”
The Speaker urged the stakeholders to make their presentations without fear or favour but in the interest of the nation and the committee to be diligent and thorough in their investigations and interactions with the various stakeholders.
“The House is desirous of receiving a report that will justify the efforts put into the exercise. This can only happen if all those that are in the position to supply necessary information do so with sincerity and open mind”, he concluded.