19 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The National Economic Council (NEC) has raised the alarm that revenue generating agencies shortchanged the government of N526 billion and $21 billion amounting to N8.13 trillion between 2010 and 2015.
To this end, NEC, comprising the federating states and government at the centre, has asked the revenue generating agencies to immediately refund the money.
The discoveries followed an audit by the auditing firm, KPMG, which looked into remittances by revenue generating agencies in the country.
The NEC was presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It would be recalled that in recent times government has complained of difficulties in meeting its salary obligations, however, it had kept mum over the matter in order not to elicit controversies.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting said various revenue generating agencies shortchanged the government of N526 billion and $21 billion between 2010 and 2015.
Dankwambo, who chaired NEC ad hoc committee on remittances, said the infractions were identified by KPMG that was contracted to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Accounts.
He said his committee briefed NEC on the findings and it was resolved that the audit period be extended up to June 2017.
The Gombe governor said the financial audit consultancy firm of KPMG which covered 18 revenue generating agencies found them culpable of under remittances.
The agencies included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Others include Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and several others.
Dankwambo said a subcommittee will be set up to look at the details of the infringements. Those that are criminal in nature will be handed over to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for action.
“KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs concluding that a total sum of N526 billion and $21 billion was under-paid to the Federation Account.
“NEC’s ad-hoc committee chaired by Gombe State governor with members including governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and the finance minister recommended refund of the amounts under-paid.
“Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its ad-hoc committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.
“Council resolved to pursue strengthening of the NNPC governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the NNPC and other RGAs.”
On the resolution of NEC to extend audit to June 2017, the Gombe governor said, “One of the resolutions of NEC today is to extend the audit to June 2017. So the audit will continue for the remaining agencies. It is NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. Because it is voluminous report there are a lot of items that are there.
“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, reported to Council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as at May 14, 2018 stands at N1,830, 682, 945.30.
She also reported to Council that the current balance in the stabilisation account as at May 14, 2018 stands at N15, 725,456,963.83.
She also reported to the Council that the current balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as at May 14, 2018 stands at N116, 104,644,763.39.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, gave an update to Council on the just concluded Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) focus which was conducted successfully and the outcomes presented to the public on Tuesday.
He told Council members that the labs identified 164 projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, noting that the outcomes indicated that over 500,000 jobs are likely to be created by 2020 and that more labs would be conducted in due course for other sectors and recommended that states should adopt the same model.