FCT Chairmen Face Sanctions for Refusing Oversight

The House of Representatives Committee on FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters has taken a firm stance against the chairmen of the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Accusing them of evading accountability, the committee has threatened sanctions if they continue to ignore invitations to appear and render accounts.

FCT Chairmen Face Sanctions for Refusing Oversight

Committee Chairman Hon. Fred Agbedi (PDP, Bayelsa) emphasized the committee’s constitutional authority. Rooted in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), this authority grants the National Assembly the power to oversee the activities of the FCT’s various Area Councils. Key provisions include:

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1. Oversight Powers: Section 88 empowers the committee to oversee the executive arm of government.

2. Investigations: Section 89 allows the committee to conduct investigations into the Area Councils’ activities.

3. Summoning Authority: Section 89 enables the committee to summon individuals for accountability.

4. Financial Review: Order 18(3) of the Standing Orders of the House mandates the committee to review and approve FCT funds’ utilization.

Despite the committee’s invitations, the Area Council Chairmen have repeatedly declined to participate, citing questionable reasons. Their refusal implies a lack of willingness to account for their stewardship. The committee views this as a breach of constitutional responsibilities and a disservice to the people they serve.

Over the past 7 to 8 months, the FCT Minister and the Minister of State have invited the committee to flag off and commission several projects. However, the six Area Councils’ chairmen have not initiated, completed, or commissioned any projects within their jurisdictions. This is particularly concerning given the substantial monthly allocations—billions of Naira—allocated to each council. These allocations exclude taxes, rents, charges, and other revenues collected by the councils.

The committee vows to wield its powers to ensure the Area Councils operate in the best interests of FCT residents. Their welfare remains a top priority. Any attempt to frustrate oversight efforts will result in legislative sanctions.

The House of Representatives demands transparency, accountability, and responsible governance from the FCT’s local leaders. The chairman must heed the call for oversight, or consequences await.