Mismanagement of funds: the Senate will investigate the mining company Kogi
The Senate Finance Committee headed by Senator for Lagos West, Olamilekan Adeola, has set up a committee to investigate the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itake, Kogi State, for non-performance and mismanagement of funds .
According to the committee, the company has received funds from the federal government since 2008, but has not produced iron or steel or generated revenue despite receiving annual allowances.
The resolution to investigate the organization was moved by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, following a motion passed by members of the Senate Finance Committee on Day 3 of the interactive session with MDAs on Thursday.
The panel would be led by Sani Musa as chairman, while members would include Opeyemi Bamidele, James Manager, Michael Nnachi and Sadik Suleiman.
The committee is due to investigate the organisation’s budget which includes recurring capital and overhead costs from 2008 to date and is expected to report back in two weeks.
Earlier, the committee chairman said the agency was a major waste of public funds, following its moribund nature since 2008.
He said the agency has been inactive for 14 years despite funding allocations for capital, recurring expenses and overhead.
Adeola said 1.8 billion naira had been released as capital funds, while 2.5 billion naira from the approved budget of 3.45 billion naira had been cumulatively disbursed to the organization in July 2022.
Adeola said it was worrying that a fund for capital, recurring costs and overheads had been poured into the agency since 2004 with no performance to show.
He said there was no reason for the government to continue funding an agency that has not been functioning since 2008.
“The organization is deserted. Who do you pay salaries to? What project did you do? Adeola asked rhetorically.
Bamidele said: “It is a very scary situation and we will finance our budget by borrowing. And we have an agency that is supposed to develop our steel sector and they haven’t done anything since 2008.”
Furthermore, Senator Jubril Isah accused the agency’s leadership of abandoning its mandate to some perceived social responsibility outside of the mandate.
He urged the management to drop other construction projects not covered by its mandate and deal with the production of irons and steels and other projects entrusted to the organization.
In response, the Sole Administrator of NIOMCO, Mr. Augustus NKechika, said that the agency had been mandated to stop its activities since 2008, following the organization’s planned concession, which resulted in litigation.
He did, however, reveal that efforts had been made to resolve the issue by the federal government.
He also revealed that the organization has 700 employees in its payroll, saying that IPPIS was responsible for paying staff salaries.