TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Sixty revenue generating agencies failed to remit N9.1tn -Reps

By The Citizen
Listen to article

Sixty revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government generated and failed to remit over N9.4tn to the coffers of the government between 2009 and 2012, the House of Representatives said on Thursday.

Some of the listed agencies include the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Port Authority and Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

A report of an investigation conducted by the House showed that the agencies either spent the money on their operations or simply failed to remit it to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.

The figure is separate from the N6.132tn, which it said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries generated internally from 2009 to 2011 and did not remit to government.

The House clarified that the figure for the NNPC did not include crude oil sales expected to have been paid into the Federation Account.

The House had in November 2012 directed its Committee on Finance to investigate independent revenue generation and remittances by Federal Government agencies.

By the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, the agencies are allowed to remit revenue to the government 'based on an operating surplus framework.'

The committee's work covered the first set of 60 agencies considered to be 'major revenue earners.' The Federal Government has close to 600 agencies.

The committee found out that the agencies capitalised on the provisions of the Act to 'spend as much of their internally-generated revenue as possible, leaving little or no surpluses for the treasury.'

Briefing the House on the findings on Thursday, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin, said members found some of the revelations 'very shocking.'

'The agencies are simply bleeding this country dry. Not until we take drastic steps to stop them, huge funds that we would have used to execute capital projects will continue to go down the drain,' he said.

The report indicated, for instance, that out of the N3.06tn the agencies generated in 2009, only N46.8bn or 1.53 per cent was remitted to the government.

In 2010, the sum of N3.07tn was generated, but N54.1bn or 1.76 per cent was remitted. For 2011, the generated figure was N3.17tn, out of which N73.8bn or 2.33 per cent was remitted.

The report added that out of the N189bbn expected to have been remitted as at October 2012, only N80bn was remitted, leaving a shortfall of N109bn.

In all, the committee found out that the total remittance to government for the three years was a 'paltry' N254.7bn, out of the total revenue of N9.4tn generated.

The committee also indicted some agencies for keeping certain revenue sources from scrutiny.

It stated, 'The Federal Inland Revenue Service declared an IGR of N5.6m in 2009. However, a review of the audited accounts showed another income sub-head of N323m.

'This trend continued in 2010 and 2011. This is equally a common practice with most agencies.'

The House considered and adopted the report on Thursday, asking the committee to propose amendments to the loopholes in the Fiscal Responsibility Act within four weeks.

It also directed the Federal Ministry of Finance to 'ensure that all funds hidden in various agencies' bank accounts be mopped up and promptly remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and report back to the committee within three months.'

In addition, the House called for 'stringent disciplinary actions to be taken against any agency found to be spending outside budgetary provisions.'

However, in the course of the investigation, most of the agencies argued that they spent funds to provide services within the limits of their enabling laws.