From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency has been mandated to liaise with professional financial consultants to investigate alleged excess and illegal charges on the accounts of lawmakers and other public institutions.
The resolution of the House was sequel to the passage of a motion of urgent importance by Rep. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, with the title, “Need to Investigate Excess and Illegal Charges on the Accounts of Public Institutions and Persons.”
Gagdi, while moving the motion, said the House was aware that while the banking industry is supposed to be a catalyst for economic growth and wealth creation, lack of transparency in the industry has made investment by local and foreign investors very unattractive due to the illegal dealings and meddling with depositors’ accounts by Nigerian banks.
“While we may choose to color or dress the language used to qualify the action of these banks by merely referring to it as excess charges, the reality remains that it is an outright stealing of customers’ deposits by banks and every hand must be on deck by any affected customer including the House of Representatives to seek redress in one way or the other.
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“The House of Representatives being a public institution and one of the three Arms of Government accountable for the use of tax payers’ money, prudence demands that the House commence an investigation of the activities of its accounts held in various banks to determine the extent of excess and illegal charges, if any, by its bankers with a view to recover same in the interest of the House,” Gagdi said.
When the Speaker of the House, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, called for a voice vote on the motion, members adopted it without dissent.
The House subsequently directed its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate and determine the extent of excess charges on members of the House of Representatives, other public institutions and individual accounts held in various banks, to determine the extent of excess charges, if any, in the last eight years.
The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the House for further legislative actions.