26 February 2013

Nigeria: Reps to Begin Forensic Audit On Revenue Generating Agencies

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has stated that it will set up an audit committee to conduct a forensic analysis of the expenditure of revenue generating agencies of the federal government.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, who disclosed this yesterday, said that of the 60 agencies invited by the committee to the hearing into remittances of their operating surplus, there was none that did not advance technical reasons for failing to pay the stipulated 25 per cent of their gross earnings into the Federation Account.

The lawmaker added that the audit committee would therefore beam its searchlight to the claims of most agencies that they were operating at a loss and therefore could not remit funds to the Federation Accounts as stipulated by law.

But the committee lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN's) declaration that it will soon pay an additional N30billion operating surplus in the coffers of the federal government.

According to him, when the said amount is paid, it will bring to N80billion the total remitted into the federation account by the CBN, representing a percentage of its earnings as stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

Jibrin said the CBN has set a precedence that should be commended and the committee has got approval from the leadership of the House to issue CBN a certificate of commendation.

But, the committee flayed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its attitude towards remittances of its operating surplus to the coffers of government.

The committee therefore placed the NNPC and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) under "special investigation."

The Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) had earlier annoyed the committee members by claiming that it would take it nine months to present its audited account for the year 2012.

The committee also took the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company to task over its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), saying it wanted to know why it was not remitting to the government coffers. But the Ugochukwu Okoroafor, a director in CBN, said the funds in NSPMC is an "investment income" and could not be treated as the usual IGR.

Others that appeared before the committee yesterday included the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

While the BoI was given two weeks to appear with more presentation, the NAFDAC was able to satisfy the committee with its explanations on its remittances.

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