FG To Probe CBN, SEC, Others Over N450bn Unremitted Funds

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The Federal Government has set up a committee to recover unremitted operating surpluses to the tune of N450billion from Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs, the Federal Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday.

The committee, led by the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, is faced with the responsibility of reconciling the operating surpluses of 31 revenue-generating agencies of government between 2010–2015.

According to a press statement signed by Festus Akanbi, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the agencies under review 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 statement further noted that the Managing Directors and Chief Executives of the listed agencies will be invited by the Committee to answer questions on “why their operating surpluses have not been remitted as mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007”.

Part of Sections 21 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.”

Findings from the committee so far revealed that the 31 MDAs under-remitted over N450 billion, within the five-year period under review.

The directive according to Akanbi is part of a resolve by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to ensure that leakages in the economy are tackled.

The statement reads in part: “Some of these agencies 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 staff 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.

“According to the Finance Ministry, the overall effect of these practices is that operating surpluses of these agencies are lower than should be.”

Going forward, Mrs. Adeosun further directed the Accountant General of the Federation to issue a circular that will limit allowable expenses that can be spent, to ensure the agencies are well monitored.