The Federal Ministry of Finance has constituted a committee to recover unremitted operating surpluses of agencies of government, running into N450 billion.
Some of the agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Petroleum Technology Development Fund, (PTDF), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among others
The committee headed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, is to reconcile the operating surpluses of 31 revenue-generating agencies of government between 2010 and 2015
The findings of the committee so far have shown under-remittance of over N450 billion, which has accrued within the period, a statement by Festus Akanbi, media aide to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said.
The statement added that “staff of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation had critically reviewed the accounting statements of these agencies, which include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Petroleum Technology Development Fund, (PTDF), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among others.
“The committee will therefore be inviting the management of these agencies to explain why their operating surpluses have not been remitted as mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.”
Sections 21 and 22 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, specifically states that:
•“The government corporations and agencies and government owned companies listed in the schedule to this Act (in this Act referred of as “the corporations”) shall, not later than six months from the commencement of this Act and every three financial years thereafter and not later than the end of the second quarter of every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the minister their schedule estimates of revenue and expenditure for the next three financial years.
• “Each of the bodies referred to in sub-section (1) of this section shall submit to the minister not later than the end of August in each financial year,” the statement noted.
According to the statement, some of the agencies 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 included payment of salaries and allowances to staff and board members, governing councils, and commissions which are outside or above the amount approved by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
They are also guilty of unacceptable expenses incurred on donations and sponsorships, among others as well as unfavourable contract signed for revenue collection by a third party; granting of staff loans 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 was that operating surpluses of these agencies are lower than they should be.