The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, has backed the decision by the Senate Committee to probe a foreign crude oil account allegedly managed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and domiciled with JP Morgan Chase, a US Bank.
Mr. Mbam described the development on Monday in Abuja as very significant to the commission’s campaign for proper monitoring of income accruable from all revenue-generating agencies of the government.
“If you listened to our submission to the National Assembly, we observed that the management has shrouded in secrecy the JP Morgan account where all the monies from the foreign sale of crude oil is paid into.
“We feel that such account should be open to the commission; we should know who manages the account – is it Ministry of Finance, is it the CBN; is it NNPC?
“And of course the law says all revenues accruable to the Federation Account should be paid to the Federation Account only. ”
The commission’s boss advised all revenue-generating agencies of government to remit all income generated directly to the Federation Account.
He faulted agencies who claimed that their Act empowers them to spend part of their resources and remit 80 per cent surplus to the Federation Account.
“Revenues should be remitted directly and you go through the process of legislation to get your money.
“The constitution is very clear; Section 162 says there should be Federation account where all revenues to the federation account should be paid, except income from personal income tax of residents of FCT, personnel of the police, Armed Forces and the foreign affairs.
“If there is any institution or agency of government that their Act is not consistent with the constitution, it’s likely they should amend such act to conform with the constitution,” he said.
Members of the Senate panel probing the management of fuel subsidy regime last week queried the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the NNPC on the illegal foreign account.
The Chairman of the committee, Magnus Abe, said the existence of the account contravenes Section 80 (4) of the Constitution, which provides that all monies accruable to the country be paid into the Federation Account.
On Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a statement, insisted that the NNPC remains the sole signatory to the two crude oil and gas accounts opened with JP Morgan in 2002 and 2009 respectively.