Some government agencies have started opting out of funding from the federal budget and refunding millions of naira due revenues to Consolidated Revenue of the Federation (CRF).
This was against the backdrop of ongoing investigation by the Senate Committee on Finance and Remittances of Internally Generated Revenue( IGR) by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and payment of one percent stamp duties on all federal contracts pursuant of reducing yearly budget deficit and getting more revenue to fund budgets.
While answering questions from Solomon Adeola-led Finance Committee, heads of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration (NAFDAC), NIGCOMSAT and Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to varying degrees informed that their agencies should be taken out from the federal budget.
NAFDAC Director General, Moji Adeyeye, told the committee that her agency can conveniently exit the federal budget to the extent of all overheads as well as capital provisions, adding that they can actually start the implementation from the 2021 budget to free funds for other uses and hopefully reduce the size of budget deficit of about N6 trillion.
Similarly, NERC Chairman, James Momoh, also said his agency is ready to completely exit the federal budget while promising to refund accumulated N28 million being one percent stamp duties on contracts awarded by the agency that were not remitted by contractors within one week.
The NIGCOMSAT Limited, another agency of the federal government also told the committee it is ready to exit the federal budget with regards to overheads.
Its Director General, Abimbola Alale, told the committee that the agency will seek partners to inject capital into the agency programmes to yield revenue for the government as lack of capital in sufficient size has been the major impediment of the agency.
All the three agencies and ICPC that appeared before the committee were asked to reconcile their IGR and one percent stamp duty accounts for remittance running into billions of naira with fiscal responsibility commission (FRC) and report back with the reconciliation for the committee to determine if any remittance is still outstanding to the CRF.
Adeola NAFDAC director general and heads of other agencies for their magnanimity in proposing to exit the federal budget, saying the Federal Government can no longer fund agencies that generate huge revenues that are spent by the agencies and still continue to fund them on overheads, capital and salaries every year.
Before the hearing, some agencies of government, including National Office of Technology Acquisition and Nigeria Electricity Management Service Agency have indicated willingness to exit the federal budget in part or whole following the oversight activities of the committee with over N50 millions already detected and paid back to government on one percent stamp duty alone by some of the over 400 revenue generating agencies under investigation.