THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has summoned the Minister of Water Resources and the Permanent Secretary of the ministry over the sale of government assets valued at over N2 billion for the sum of N13.618 million.
The management of an agency under the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) had reportedly realised N13.618 from the auction of government plants, property and equipment valued at over N2 billion.
The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation had earlier queried the management of OORBDA over the development.
The House Committee on Public Accounts summoned the minister and the permanent secretary after the Managing Director of OORBDA Olufemi Odumosu revealed at an investigative hearing on Friday that the Ministry of Water Resources approved the auction and also appointed the auctioneers that sold off the assets.
According to Odumosu, the auction was transparent as it was carried out under the supervision of the ministry.
Documents presented to the lawmakers at the Investigative hearing revealed that the oldest of the assets was bought in 1980, while the newest were acquired in 2013.
However, Odumosu said the auctioned assets were dated back to the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Following the reaction of members of the committee, he requested to withdraw and replace the documents but the lawmakers declined.
While faulting the auction process, the Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke disclosed that the provisions of the Public Procurement Act were not followed in the sale of the assets.
Oke said the development resulted in the loss of revenue for the government.
The auctioned assets include:
800KVA Perkins diesel generating set bought by OORBDA in 2006 for an undisclosed amount but sold for N550,000 in 2018 after it was categorised as unserviceable.
CAT payloader bought for N70,000 in 1982 and sold for N40,000.
Earth-moving equipment like bulldozers, graders and escalators sold for between N350,000 and N550,000 as unserviceable items.
Toyota Camry 2.5L bought in 2013 for N8.150 million, with a book value of N1.222 million, which would have cost the agency N1.2 million to repair, but sold for N22,500.
Trimmers bought in 2004 sold for N2000.
Lawnmowers bought in 2005 and sold for N6,500.
Peugeot 504 station wagons bought for N2.9 million each but sold for N26,400 each.
Mitsubishi Canter lorry which cost the authority N8.55 million was sold as scrap for N80,000.
DAF (1000) lorry bought for N5 million but auctioned for N90,000.
Toyota Hilux pick-up van bought for N3.75 million, which would have cost N187,500 to repair but sold for the same N187,500.
The Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Hussein Adamu, and the Permanent Secretary, Musa Ibrahim, were asked to appear before the House committee on June 9 to explain their role in the auction.