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House Orders PTDF To Refund N25.4M To FG

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com


ABUJA, July 17, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives has ordered the Petroleum Technology and Development Fund (PTDF) to remit to the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) the sum of N67 million representing N25.437 million and N41.563 million unremitted Value Added Tax (VAT) and withholding Tax (WHT) taxes deducted in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

It has also declared that the expenditure of N47.099 million naira to provide ICT facilities in two private universities by the PTDF was wrong recommending that each of the universities be made to refund the portion of the total amount spent on them by the PTDF.

Failure to do so, the House has recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent and Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) be invited to investigate and recover the said amounts for the Federal Government.

These were part of recommendations of the House Committee on Public Accounts on the findings on the examination conducted on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) on Auditor General’s reports on the accounts of the federal government for the period covering 2003 and 2005 as well as status report on some public entities.

In the recommendations, which were laid before the House on July 30, 2010 and obtained exclusively by THEWILL, the Hon. Mohammed Usman Adamu led public accounts committee said that Emmanuel Chambers should refund the sum of N250 million paid to it by the PDTF as legal fees on behalf of Galaxy Backbone Plc because ‘such expenditure was outside the core mandate of the PTDF.’

The committee also recommended that the PTDF should recover the various sums of money paid to the contractors at the Oil and Gas Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa state.

"Contractors who collected mobilization fees without actually doing the job or those who did shoddy jobs including the consultants who received 75 percent of consultancy fees without supervising any work, should be made to refund the money they collected."

According to the committee, since it is obvious that that the PTDF did not execute four out of five components of the ICT projects whose contract price amounts to N12.9 billion, they should be made to account for the money.

The report states that "the contractors awarded contract for the building of ICT classrooms in the eleven Federal Government Colleges should be made to complete them or refund amount already collected by each of them as indicated against each of the contractors."

Similarly, the committee recommended that the executive secretary of the PTDF, who authorized the disbursement of the sum of N23.1 million to the contractor, Tatalli Nigeria Ltd and the contractor itself be made to refund the money.

The committee considers as doubtful the sums of N8.4 million and N21.249 million paid on the ICT projects in Usman Dan Fodio University and Olabisi Onabanjo University and subsequently recommended that the EFCC investigate the matter.

These recommendations are to be considered by the House when it resumes plenary next Tuesday.