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Friday, 2 December 2016

N450b unremitted revenue: FG to drag NCC, NPA, BPE, others to EFCC

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The Minister made these disclosures in Abuja while addressing the media on the recovery of revenue‎ from government agencies
Kemi AdeosunThe Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday disclosed that the ministry would report 33 agencies, which defaulted in remitting over N450 billion revenue into government coffers between 2010 and 2015, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.
Adeosun also revealed that the Federal Government generated N272.03 billion in the first 10 months of 2016.
The Minister made these disclosures in Abuja while addressing the media on the recovery of revenue‎ from government agencies.
She named some of the defaulting agencies in remitting of revenue as ‎Nigeria Communication Commission, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigeria Shippers Council, National Pensions Commission, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading‎ and National Health Insurance Scheme.
The defaulting agencies also include: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Industrial Training Fund, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigeria Postal Service, Nigerian Television Authority, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, National Information Technology and Development Agency, Raw Material Research & Development Council, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, among others.
Adeosun said: “A Recovery Committee chaired by the Accountant General of Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has been set up to recover the outstanding N450 billion operating surpluses, including holding bilateral discussions with the affected agencies.
“We have been getting positive responses.
“Some Agencies have started making remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
“The sum of N640 million was received from Nigeria Shippers Council on Wednesday.
“Our duty is strictly auditing and investigating.
“We are not a prosecuting agency.
“We will be reporting some of these defaulting agencies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution‎.”
The minister stated that demand notices had been issued to affected agencies for the payment of outstanding operating surpluses.
The agencies, Adeosun added, have also been invited to a meeting scheduled to hold on December 6 where they are required to submit a repayment plan or face appropriate sanctions, including deduction of amount owed directly from Treasury Single Account balances, besides prosecution by the EFCC.
She ‎revealed a total N272.03 billion independent revenues generated between January and October this year.
Adeosun added: “Independent revenues are ‎projected to increase to N811.03 billion as we recover amounts owed and drive greater compliance going forward.”
The Recovery Committee has invited the management of these agencies to explain why their operating surpluses have not been remitted as mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Sections 21 and 22 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, specifically states: (1) “The Government corporations and agencies and government owned companies listed in the Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred of as ‘the Corporations’ shall, not later than six months from the commencement of this Act and every three financial years thereafter and not later than the end of the second quarter of every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Minister their Schedule estimates of revenue and expenditure for the next three financial years.
(2) “Each of the bodies referred to in sub-section (1) of this section shall submit to the Minister not later than the end of August in each financial year:
a. An annual budget derived from the estimates submitted in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and
b. Projected operating surplus which shall be prepared in line with acceptable accounting practices.
“(3) The Minister shall cause the estimates submitted in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section to be attached as part of the Appropriation Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly.”
Section 22 (1) states: “Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law governing the corporation, each corporation shall establish a general reserve fund and shall allocate thereto at the end of each financial year, one-fifth of its operating surplus for the year.
“(2) The balance of the operating surplus shall be paid into the Consolidate Revenue Fund of the Federal Government not later than one month following the statutory deadline for publishing each corporation’s accounts.”
Adeosun disclosed that some of these agencies had incurred huge expenses on overseas training and medicals and huge expenses on behalf of supervisory ministries and/other organs of government involved in oversight or regulatory functions without appropriate approval.‎
She also listed other infractions of the agencies to include payment of salaries and allowances to staff and board members, governing councils and commissions, which are outside or above the amount approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
Adeosun added: “The list also includes unacceptable expenses incurred on donations, sponsorships, etc, unfavourable contract signed for revenue collection by a third party; granting of staff loans that have not been repaid as well as sale and transfer of assets to board members, among others.”
According to the Minister, the overall effect of these practices is that operating surpluses of these agencies are lower than should be.
Consequently, the Minister has directed the Accountant General of the Federation to issue a circular that will limit allowable expenses that can be spent as part of measures to ensure these agencies face strict monitoring.
This development is part of the government’s resolve to ensure that leakages are tackled.

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