The Senate has revealed that no less than 60 federal government agencies did not remit more than N3 trillion of revenue generated to the Federation Account from 2014 to 2020.
This is just when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed, said that some of the affected parastatals have begun to credit the government coffers with the outstanding revenues they generated in the last six years.
The Senate Finance Committee headed by Senator Olamilekan Adeola made the accusation in the course of investigating MDA revenue remittances between 2014-2020 and the payment of 1% stamp duty on all contract awards by of MDAs within the same period.
Although the committee did not categorically mention the agencies involved, THISDAY’s findings revealed that almost all government revenue-generating agencies did not remit the funds generated to the government coffers.
Adeola explained that more than N3 trillion of government-generated revenue was trapped with MDAs, which could have been spent on frivolous expenditures contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Fiscal Responsibility Law. 2007. (FRA).
The senior senator spoke at the weekend when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed; The Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze; The Federation Auditor General, Mr. Idris Ahmed, and other heads of agencies appeared before the committee for the ongoing investigation into MDA revenue remittances between 2014 and 2020.
According to him, based on the presentations already made and the calculations of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, around 60 government-owned companies (GOE), may have around N3 trillion of government revenue still unremitted in their coffers or already spent. in frivolous expenses contrary to the Constitution and Fiscal Responsibility. 2007 law.
He said: “The reconciliation done so far by the Federation Accountant General’s Office exceeds one trillion Naira and is going to like two, three trillion Naira or around and this money is still in the hands of these agencies and we asked the Accountant General’s office to take the money to the government coffers and we discovered that they are giving them a payment notice without necessarily following this process.
“We have noticed that in the so-called 80 percent of the operating surplus that the agencies refer to, many of these agencies have proven to be frivolous expenditures and have taken advantage of the current system and refuse to remit this amount on its due date. We have tried to audit the account of these agencies year after year for the last five years and some of the disclosures are terrifying. How do we explain that a government agency that has a provision in the budget for Capital, General Expenses and Personnel, in its audited account, has gross income of N500 million and is asking for N200 million? ”.
He added that since the initiation of the investigations, some agencies have complied with the committee’s directive and some of them return tens of millions of nairas with receipts to show from the Federation’s General Accounting Office.
“There is no question that if this revenue is paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for proper allocation by parliament during budget considerations, we are going to dramatically reduce the size of our deficit and hopefully minimize our indebtedness. “We cannot continue to run government business like we used to do right now when there are huge demands on the government to fund the necessary infrastructure and other socio-economic programs.”
Adeola emphasized that the minister and other senior officials were invited to obtain their full acceptance and also inform them about the revelations discovered by investigations of more than four weeks with many agencies committing all kinds of illegalities related to the spending of government funds. that it should rightly be entered into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The minister, in her contribution, confirmed that in recent times a good number of agencies have been ordered to return the revenues collected on behalf of the federal government as required by law.
Ahmed added that the executive arm of the government is also looking at the application of the operating surplus calculation and deduction template by government agencies to ensure that the correct amount is paid to the government.
For his part, the Director-General, Budget Office, Akabueze clarified that the issue of operating surpluses does not apply to any government agency that is fully funded by the government, and emphasized that all income generated by such agencies must