FG discovers N58bn unremitted revenue
The Ministry of Finance has uncovered N58 billion unremitted revenue of the Federal Government in various bank accounts which were said to be 'hidden' by unscrupulous bank managers and collaborators in ministries, departments and agencies.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday in Abuja, threatened heavy sanctions, including closure of such accounts, against the culprits if by Monday next week all such monies were not paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.
She said, in a statement, that the practice through which government officials place government revenue in illegal accounts to earn interests for their pockets was unacceptable and must be stopped immediately.
The statement said that 'it has come to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance that some Federal Government agencies that generate independent revenue, in collusion with some banks, have refused to remit monies to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, of the Federal Government which they are obliged by law to do.
'We have identified about N58 billion of such monies, which rightfully belongs in the CRF.
'This unwholesome practice has persisted despite the efforts of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to encourage the agencies and the affected banks to do the right thing.
'Rather than comply, the agencies and banks, through their lawyers have engaged in all manner of legal subterfuges to ensure that monies, which are due to the Federal Government are not remitted.
'The objective of this conspiracy against the national interest is clear: to keep government monies indefinitely in accounts earning interest for individuals at the expense of the Federal Government and the Nigerian people.
'This is totally unacceptable and the Federal Ministry of Finance is determined that this practice must end forthwith.
'Starting Monday, June 17, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, in exercise of its powers under the extant laws and rules, will close the accounts of agencies involved in this practice in all banks.
'This process of systematic closure will continue until all monies that should be in the Consolidated Revenue Fund are retrieved.'