The chairman of National Economic Council, NEC, Adhoc committee on remittances, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, on Thursday accused 18 revenue generating agencies of short-changing the country in revenue remittances to the federation account.
The agencies involved in the infractions includes, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; Federal Inland revenue Service, FIRS; Nigeria Customs Service, NCS and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and eight others.
According to the National Economic Council, NEC, presided over on Thursday by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the final report on the forensic audit of revenue accruals by revenue generating agencies confirmed massive under-remittances to government coffers to the tune of N8.1 trillion.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, said various revenue generating agencies shortchanged the government of N526 billion and $21 billion between 2010 to 2015.
He said his committee briefed NEC on the findings and it was resolved that the audit period be extended up to June 2017.
On the resolution of INEC to extend audit to June 2017, the Gombe governor said, “One of the resolutions of NEC today is to extend the audit to June 2017. So the audit will continue for the remaining agencies. It is NNPC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. Because it is voluminous report there are a lot of items that are there.
“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”
Dankwambo said a subcommittee will be set up to look at the details of the infringements. Those that are criminal in nature will be handed over to office of the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) for action.
Damkwambo said, “KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs concluding that a total sum of N526 billion and USD$21 billion was under-paid to the Federation Account.
“Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.
“Council resolved to pursue strengthening of the NNPC governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the NNPC and other RGAs.”
On if NEC was going to mention agencies of government that have not been indicted, the governor said, “And also to say that an audit an exception report, is not an okay report. So we are not looking for a company that is doing well. Accountability does not mean you are doing well, the mirror is very big and depending on how you look at the mirror that is how you will see yourself. So it is an exception report, we are not looking at the good boys, we were looking for exceptions. And to go further, it is and forensic audit, detailing this kind of short comings.”
The chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said NEC discussed the question of subsidy.
Yari said, “Yes, the item was brought up for discussion but it was referred back to the sub-committee on remittances in which I’m chair. We are doing the nitty, gritty with NNPC in terms of remittances. Don’t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was because the oil prices were too low. It was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make their profit. So, when the price started jacking up then the marketers started adjusting back because they needed to have a template of cost recovery and how they are going to make up the difference from the pump price to the landing cost of what they are importing.
“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable. Working with the governors, so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways. For instance, if you say we paid N800 billion subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at infrastructure development and capital programme of the federal government, it is about N1.1 trillion, almost 70 percent of what you are spending developing the economy. If there is no infrastructure development then you cannot talk about development of the economy. N800 billion is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it.