The continuous face-offs between the Ministry of Finance, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), State Governments and revenue generating organs of the Federal Government on the other hand, emphasise the gravity of revenue leakages in our economy, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said.
Speaking at the National Assembly, during an investigative hearing organised by the ad-hoc committee set up to cause investigation into the activities of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and other institutions responsible for revenue remittances into the Federation Account and other matters arising in such regard, he stated that attaining economic growth and development and reviving dwindling oil fortunes cannot be achieved unless all revenue leakages are blocked.
He said, “You may all recall that the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting in July was stalemated, two or three times, due to controversies over unremitted revenue. This led to delays in the payment of salaries by the Federal and State Governments and other budgetary expenditures in most Federal Government Agencies and Establishments. The continuous face-offs with respect to revenue remittances and figures between the Ministry of Finance and NNPC on one hand as well as State Governments and revenue generating organs of the Federal Government on the other hand, only show some of the many instances of unending issues of revenue leakages in our economy.
“With the dwindling oil fortunes, and the spirited efforts being made in the country to diversify our economic base, there is no gain saying the fact that closing up leakages in our system has become imperative if we must grow our economy and accelerate the development of the country at this period of economic downturn.
“At this period, when government is making efforts towards diversifying the economy in order to reduce the country’s over-reliance on the oil sector, it is disheartening to hear repeated allegations of non-remittances of huge amounts of revenue by Agencies required generating and managing our revenue. ”
Hon Dogara also disclosed that the report expected from the committee would guide the House to make appropriate resolutions with a view to averting further under-remittances of revenue to the Federation Account, if any.