The Nigerian Senate is set to investigate the government’s revenue generating bodies suspected to have been involved in the practice of non-remittance – or under-remittance – of revenues they generate to the treasury in violation of the law.
The resolution to investigate the agencies was passed on Tuesday, following a motion by Adeola Olamilekan.
Citing Section 80 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution which provides for remittance of all government revenues into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, Mr. Olamilekan, an APC Senator from Lagos State, expressed worry some agencies are mismanaging public funds and shortchanging government, despite the country’s economic woes, mainly marked by dwindling oil revenue.
Various audit queries against these agencies, said Mr. Olamilekan, indicated possible mismanagement of revenue generated.
Giving an instance, he alleged that, in a particular year, the Nigeria Customs Service generated N178 billion and spent the whole money as expenditure.
Similarly, Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah, said an examination body generated N3 billion on sales of forms and claimed it spent N2.9 billion on printing of forms.
On December 14, 2015, The Nation published a report on how the National Examination Commission, NECO, received N4.9 billion from the government and generated N11.7 billion in but remitted just N6.9 million the to Consolidated Revenue Fund in 2014.
In the same story, West African Examination Council, WAEC Nigeria, also in 2014, was reported to have received N4.8 billion from the government for its overhead cost and generated N16.6 billion but remitted just N25 million into the treasury.
Following Mr. Olamilekan’s motion and support it garnered from Senators who contributed to the debate, the Senate resolved to constitute a “high powered” adhoc committee to investigate alleged misuse, non-remittance and other fraudulent practices involved in revenue generation and utilization by all revenue generating agencies between 2012 and 2016.
Members of the committee, announced Senate President Bukola Saraki, are Yusuf Abubakar (APC-Taraba), Andy Uba (PDP-Anambra), John Enoh, (Cross River), Fatima Raji-Rasaki (PDP-Ekiti), and Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi) with Mr. Olamilekan as the chairman.
Mr. Saraki said blocking leakages could help improve implementation rate of the coming 2017 budget.
In March 2015, as chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Olamilekan accused the former President Goodluck Jonathan of aiding such “super agencies” as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Nigerian Ports Authority to block over N16 trillion from reaching the consolidated treasury.