Federal Reps to investigate status of FG accounts
The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Finance, Appropriation, Loans and Aids to conduct an investigative hearing into the status of Federal Government accounts.
The joint committees are to invite the Minister of Finance, Heads of Revenue Agencies, Debt Management Office and related organisations to appear and present to the full status of the state of account of the country.
The adoption of the resolution was sequel to the presentation of a motion titled: 'Need for full disclosure of the state of the Federation Accounts and Economic situation of our country,' by a member, Hon. Bimbo Daramola ( APC Ekiti).
While presenting the motion, Daramola noted that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 162(1), provides that the federation shall maintain a special account to be called the 'Federation Account' into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation.
He said: 'Section 162(3) states that any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal and State Governments and Local Government Councils in each state on such terms and manner as prescribed by the National Assembly.'
Daramola said despite the fact that the benchmark in the 2013 budget is $79 per barrel, oil has not sold for less than a $100 per barrel, he therefore expressed concern 'that in the past three to four months, the nation has been regaled with diatribes between the Minister for Finance and State Governors over partial releases of the amounts due to the states.'
He said some states were unable to meet their statutory responsibilities, such as payment of salaries, thereby inflicting pains on the ordinary Nigerians, adding that despite profuse assurances from Mrs Okonjo-Iweala that the economy is growing, and that government is meeting all its obligations as at when due, there are manifest scenarios in the country, such as the non-remittance of full amounts due to states and improper funding, or fund releases for capital projects.
While supporting the motion, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau (Zamfara ), said from the oversight on MDAs, it was discovered that funds' releases to MDAs were as low as 28 per cent, with just three months to the end of the year.
He said in spite of the claim by the Federal Inland Revenue Services' (FIRS) Chairman that they have generated N3.7 trillion and other revenue generating agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC ) and others, releases were poor, enjoining the House to investigate the phenomenon.
Friday Itulah (Edo), said the problem can be solved by a diligent oversight by the House Standing and Ad hoc Committees on the MDAs. saying a single day as earlier proposed by the motion, was insufficient to get to the bottom of such an important issue.
John Enoh, Chair, House Committee on Appropriation, noted that the disagreement at the Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) calls for question on the state of our finances, particularly when the Minister is saying that the Economy is doing well. He however cauctioned that there is need to factor in revenue losses due to oil theft.
Farouk Lawan ( Kano) expressed support for the motion saying it was necessary to bring to the fore the revenues generated the revenue generated by the government. - National Mirror.