Revenue agencies defrauded the Federal Government the sum of N1.7tn, as unremitted revenue generated between 2012 and 2016.
This was disclosed in its interim report of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Alleged Misuse, Under-Remittance and Other Fraudulent Activities, submitted to the Senate last Thursday.
The committee blamed the short-change on a memo released by a former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Okonjo-Iweala has been alleged of issuing the memo to the agencies to remit 25 per cent of revenue they generated to the Federal Government and expend 75 per cent on their expenditure.
The adhoc committee stated that after investigations, a total of N21.5tn was yet to be remitted to the Federal Government during the period by 93 agencies.
It added that 25 of the 93 agencies investigated duped the government of the sum of 1,695,585,887,406.
The panel, headed by Senator Olamilekan Adeola, asserted that the agencies chose to adhere to a directive by Okonjo-Iweala through a memo dated November 11, 2011, with Reference Number BO/RVE/12235/259/VII/201 by the former minister “to remit 25 per cent only from the revenue generated and use the remaining 75 per cent, which is a clear violation of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as well as the establishment acts of some of these institutions.”
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In the panel’s interim report, the Nigeria Customs Service, which generated N335.855bn revenue, failed to remit N83.963bn, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had a deficit of N3.1tn, during the period under review.
The probe committee claimed that the nation’s cash cow generated N15.541tn, while its whole expenditure during the period was N18.657tn, exceeding the corporation’s revenue profile by N3.115tn.
The report also indicted the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which generated N455.5bn but allegedly failed to remit N33.83bn.
Also, the Nigerian Ports Authority reportedly remitted N86.636bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund when it generated N789.104bn.
Others indicted by the panel are the Central Bank of Nigeria, remitting N13.716bn out of N3.098tn; NIMASA, N184.489bn out of N301.160bn; Nigerian Television Authority, N5.567bn out of N56.817bn.
The report read in part, “Most of the revenue generating agencies deny the Auditor General of the Federation access to their financial books and records, which is in conflict with Section 125, Subsection (3) a (i and ii); and Subsection (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“Consequently, the committee recommends as follows: that the Senate should amend the laws where necessary to make it mandatory for all revenue generating agencies to accommodate resident auditors to be posted by the Auditor General of the Federation that will have access to all financial records and books, and to ensure compliance with Section 120(i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended in a way to compel all agencies and institutions of government on compliance with financial regulations regarding income generation, accounting and remittances.
“The Senate should also amend the laws where necessary to make it mandatory for all revenue generating agencies to accommodate resident treasury officers to be posted by the Accountant General of the Federation that will have access to all financial records and books.”