FG Begins Audit Of NNPC, FIRS, NPA, NIMASA, Customs | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Begins Audit Of NNPC, FIRS, NPA, NIMASA, Customs

Posted: Jan 7, 2016 at 10:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance to commence immediate audit of the accounts of all revenue generating agencies. Among agencies to be audited are the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The decision is part of strategies by the Federal Government to plug all revenue leakages and save monies to fund critical infrastructure. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who briefed State House Correspondents yesterday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting alongside the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said government was concerned about the continued failure of some agencies to remit funds into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

Adeosun said that agencies like the National Communications Commission (NCC) and other ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) in the past generated and spent government revenues without any control. Under the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Section 107 (8), such revenue generating agencies are expected to remit 80 per cent of whatever is accruable to the CRF.

“Let me remind you that under the FRA, these boards and corporations who generate revenue are supposed to generate and keep operating surplus, 80 per cent of which is to be credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. “But we have discovered that many agencies have never credited anything including some whose salaries, overheads, capital is paid by the Federal Government. “We also discussed that in some cases, some agencies have a track record and history of making sure that every Naira they earned is spent.

We will go in and audit agencies under Section 107 (8) of the Financial Regulations,” she added. Adeosun explained that the Accountant-General of the Federation has the powers to go in and make inquiries about how public money is spent. “So, we will be sending in auditors to some agencies where we believe that their cost is simply excessive and not in keeping with our expectations,” the minister said. According to her, government hopes to raise a lot of savings with which to fund part of the deficit in the 2016 budget.

“We are going to make every naira count and in order to make every naira count, we have to know how much is coming in and control how it goes out. “All the ministers concerned agreed that enough is enough and they even identified boards and agencies under them where they know that revenue is being diverted,” the minister noted.

She said the Ministry of Finance had, in December last year, issued a circular requesting that MDAs send their budget in line with the new initiative of tracking revenue leakages. “What we discussed today was the responsibility of the ministers to ensure that whether those agencies have boards or not, those budgets are prepared that the Ministry of Finance is going to sit down with the supervising ministers and with the boards concerned, where necessary, to go through their budgets and make sure that they are reasonable, that the costs are not inflated,” she stated.

On speculations that the 2016 appropriation bill already submitted to the National Assembly may have been withdrawn from the parliament for possible adjustments in the estimates, the minister said that there was no truth in the report. “But let me make it very clear the budget is not being withdrawn or replaced.

The budget has been presented and will go through normal process whereby MDAs defend their budgets. Adeosun, however, explained that it is possible in the process of scrutinising the budget, that the National Assembly made adjustments.

“You know the legislature is not a rubber stamp, their job is to scrutinise the budget and to approve that budget. So, there may be some changes that occur as a result of that interactive process, but that process is normal everywhere in the world where a budget is presented. So, I think it is important to make that clarification,” Adeosun explained.