The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), National Agency for Food and Dr ug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among others have been accused of failing to remit about N450billion operating surpluses. To recover this funds, the Ministry of Finance has constituted a committee.
The committee, led by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, was mandated to reconcile the operating surpluses of 31 revenue-generating agencies of government between 2010 and 2015. A statement from the Ministry of Finance endorsed by Festus Akanbi, Special Assistant, media to the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, explained that “the findings of the committee so far, have shown under-remittance of over N450 billion, which accrued within the period.”
The Finance Ministry said workers at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation have critically reviewed the accounting statements of the agencies. It added that the Committee will therefore be inviting the management of the affected agencies to explain why their operating surpluses were not remitted as mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Some of these agencies, the ministry lamented, “have incurred huge expenses on overseas training and medicals, and huge expenses on behalf of supervisory ministries and/other organs of government involved in oversight or regulatory functions without appropriate approval.”
Other infractions include payment of salaries and allowances to workers and board members, governing councils, and commissions which are outside or above the amount approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
The list also includes unacceptable expenses incurred on donations, sponsorships, and others; unfavourable contract signed for revenue collection by a third party; granting of loans to workers that have not been repaid as well as sale and transfer of assets to board members, among others.
According to the Finance Ministry, the overall effect of these practices is that operating surpluses of these agencies are lower than should be. As a result of this, Mrs. Adeosun has directed the Accountant-General of the Federation to issue a circular that will limit allowable expenses that can be spent as part of measures to ensure that these agencies face strict monitoring. This development, the statement explained, is part of the resolve of the minister to ensure that leakages are blocked.