*Govt owes states N536b for roads repairs
18 September 2015, Lagos – The National Economic Council (NEC) ad hoc committee probing remittances into the Federation Account by revenue-generating agencies has indicted the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others, for alleged lack of transparency and accountability.
In a preliminary report turned in to NEC, the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led committee said that there were no checks and balances in the way the agencies remitted their revenues into government treasury, thus giving room for underhand practices and corruption.
This was disclosed by Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting of
NEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“It was established, among others, that there was lack of transparency and accountability in the operation of the Federation Account, and they also noted that there were no checks and balances in the operation,” Ajimobi said.
He continued: “They also told the Council that the work of the committee is ongoing, so we still have more reports to receive from them.”
The committee also identified “issues” with regard to accruals into the federation account adding that the management of it necessitated the forensic audit.
According to the Oyo State Governor, “the engagement of the audit firms is essential and the terms of reference have already been finalized.”
The ad hoc committee had appointed KPMG and PriceCooperWaterHouse as consultants to carry out the forensic audit.
Other members of the five-man committee are Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam El Rufai; (who presented the report to Council on Thursday); Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
Ajumobi also disclosed that the Federal Government had paid out N13 billion to 13 states which applied for refund on federal roads rehabilitation undertaken by them.
A total of N535,5 billion is being demanded by 21 states for road repairs, according to him.
The Oyo governor, who was flanked by his counterparts from Benue, Delta, and Kano states, the said DMO reported that the13 states were those that complied with the full conditions for refund; while eight states had only complied partially.
“Another issue discussed is on refund of expenses incurred on repair of federal roads by states. As listed here, we have 13 states that have fully complied with the re-imbursement requirements, we have eight states that have partially complied, and the total sum of claims to be reimbursed is N535.5 billion.
“Then we have N13 billion that has been disbursed to the states already as at 2013. The challenges they face had to do with inadequate funding in the ministry,” he said.
Ajumobi said NEC was also briefed by the Accountant-General of the Federation that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account as at September 15, 2015, stood at $2.25 billion.
He also disclosed that the Debt Management Office (DMO) briefed council that about N500 billion is involved in the debt rescheduling for state governments seeking financial bailout from the federal government.
Ajimobi explained that so far, 26 states applied for the debt rescheduling out of which 11 had completed the requirements; while 13 states were in the 2nd phase.
The Oyo governor said NEC also noted that fertiliser use by farmers in the country had increased by over 200 percent.
*Egena Egena – Daily Times