Reps order centre to remit ₦542 million within three weeks

The ongoing house of reps voting to elect new speaker from APC
House of Reps

For failing to remit a total sum of ₦542.4 million between 2012 and 2018, the House of Representatives Committee on Finance has ordered the Centre for Management Development (CMD) to remit the fund in three weeks.

Failure to comply, the committee said, it would either recommend that the agency be scrapped or the agency’s debt be deducted from its monthly allocation.

The amount, the committee said, is a backlog of unremitted ₦378.4 million in 2012, ₦86 million in 2016 and ₦78 million in 2017.

The Managing Director of CMD, Bitrus Chinoko, on Wednesday, appeared before the House committee with no clearcut explanation as to why his agency failed to pay those sums into the federation account.

By law, the agency, as a revenue-generating one, has a duty to remit 25 per cent of its IGR to the nation’s treasury.

Mr Chinoko admitted that there was outstanding revenue yet to be remitted by his agency, but he blamed this on the agency’s lack of facilities in its Abuja centre.

He said this made it run at a loss running the centre in the capital city, unlike Lagos where it has its own facilities to run its activities. There, he said they made profit.

Nonetheless, he told the committee that the agency would make amends. In defence of himself, he explained that he had just assumed office and not only were the accounts of the agency audited in 2019, funds were remitted.

‘Not pleased’

Chairman of the committee, James Faleke, criticised Mr Chinoko for overseeing an agency that spent all the revenue it generated in clear breach of the law.

“Nigeria is in dire need of money. President Muhammadu Buhari needs money to fund (Nigeria’s) capital projects,” Mr Faleke said.

“The money agencies generate is way more than what we borrow as a country to fund the budget. We give you three weeks to pay all outstanding (debt) and appear here with treasury receipts.”

The lawmakers, therefore, demanded that all outstanding revenues be paid within three weeks.

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