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Senate committee accuses Okonjo-Iweala of aiding MDAs defraud FG

Former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

NASS

Senate committee accuses Okonjo-Iweala of aiding MDAs defraud FG

The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Alleged Misuse, Under-Remittance and Other Fraudulent Activities has accused former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala of complicity in the under remittance of revenue to the federal government by various government agencies.

According to the committee, the FG was deprived of N1.2 trillion between 2012 and 2016.

And how’s Okonjo-Iweala to blame for that? The committee said her directive for the agencies to remit 25 per cent of revenue they generated to the government and spend 75 per cent on their expenditure is to blame.

Okonjo-Iweala was said to have issued the memo dated November 11, 2011, with Reference Number BO/RVE/12235/259/VII/201 “which is a clear violation of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as well as the establishment acts of some of these institutions.”

According to the committee’s report, “Most of the revenue generating agencies deny the Auditor General of the Federation access to their financial books and records, which is in conflict with Section 125, Subsection (3) a (i and ii); and Subsection (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”

The committee stated that it investigated about 93 agencies during the period under review and discovered that the Nigeria Customs Service, which generated N335.855 billion, failed to remit N83.963 billion; the Federal Inland Revenue Service generated N455.5 billion but allegedly failed to remit N33.83 billion;  the Nigerian Ports Authority remitted N86.636 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund when it generated N789.104 billion, among others.

Recommendations: To forestall occurrences such as these, the committee urged the Senate to:

  • “Amend the laws where necessary to make it mandatory for all revenue generating agencies to accommodate resident treasury officers to be posted by the Accountant General of the Federation that will have access to all financial records and books.”
  • “Amend the laws where necessary to make it mandatory for all revenue generating agencies to accommodate resident auditors to be posted by the Auditor General of the Federation that will have access to all financial records and books, and to ensure compliance with Section 120(i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
  • “Amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act to compel all agencies and institutions of government on compliance with financial regulations regarding income generation, accounting and remittances.”

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