…As offshore investors express interest in Arik, Aero
From Amechi Ogbonna, Washington DC, USA
As part of measures to improve transparency in the management of stolen funds recovered from past public functionaries, the Federal Government at the weekend said it has opened a Central recovered funds account managed by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who disclosed this at a briefing to round off the 2017 Spring meeting of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC, USA, said that government opted to open the account to enable it track all recovered funds to avoid their relooting.
According to her, government agencies have been mandated to recover and send details to the centralised account meant to warehouse such funds.
Adeosun, who admitted that a lot of money had illegally left the country, said the government was actually committed to geting all the fund into a central account which can then be deployed to fund the budget.
“All the recovered monies go into the recovery account which we reconcile. Now, in the budget, there was the provision that some recovered monies would go into it and that goes into specific projects in the budget and any excess recoveries we have to wait and take some decisions. So far, we have recovered up to the amount we are expecting in the budget. But what we are trying to do is to make sure that there is real controls, that was why we created a central recovery account. What we also discovered is that so many agencies are recovering and we must keep eyes on those recoveries, otherwise there is the risk of re-looting. So, all the agencies that recover send us their returns monthly and then we sweep it into a central account which is kept by the Accountant General, so that we can reconcile.”
On measures to enforce tax collection, she said the Federal Government would name and shame tax evaders especially the high income earners.”
She said it was on the basis of this that the British government had agreed to furnish the government with the list of Nigerian with properties in the United Kingdom for purposes of proper tax assessment, saying it would be a very systematic process..
“ We will also move to name and shame People who are evading tax, particularly the high income earners. It is not a political witch hunt but we have discovered that all the countries we admire pay tax and we must do things differently this time to improve our economy.