The long awaited 2017 Auditor General’s report was recently published in the website of the office of the auditor general. This is in line with the provisions of Section 85(3) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which requires that the Annual Accounts and Auditor’s reports of government parastatals should be submitted to the Auditor-General of the Federation for comments. However, the last report produced by the auditor general on government MDAs was in 2016. The Auditor General had complained that government MDAs are not complying with the provision of the law that mandates them to submit their annual audit report not later than 31st May of the following year. In his 2016 report, the Auditor-General complains that “most of the government Corporations, Companies and Commissions have not submitted their audited accounts for 2016 to me. From that report “as at April 2018, 109 Agencies have not submitted (their audited accounts) beyond 2013, 76 Agencies last submitted for the 2010 financial year while 65 agencies have never submitted any account since inception. This same scenario, even worse repeated itself as shown in the 2017 audit report, the Auditor general re-affirms that as at 30th June 2019 160 agencies defaulted in submission of audited accounts for 2016; 265 agencies defaulted in submission of audited accounts for 2017; while 11 agencies have never submitted any financial statements since inception.
Some of the issues raised in the 2017 report include the delay of the passage of budget and how it affects MDAs in the implementation of project. A summary of the report shows lack of revenue remittance by some revenue generating agencies of government. According to the report, Ministries, Departments and Agencies who deduct the statutory Withholding Taxes, Value Added Taxes, Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax and other statutory taxes did not carry out their duties appropriately to the benefit of the Federal Government, thereby leading to a significant reduction in revenue accruable to the Federal Government. It further stated that , 16 revenue generating agencies did not remit a total of nineteen Billion, twenty five Million, three hundred and eighty-four thousand, one hundred Naira, twenty-nine Kobo (N19,025,384,100.29) to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) topping the list of unremitted Revenue, with the sum of Seven Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty-Five Million, One Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (N7,585,116,400.00). We also found that Revenue Generating Agencies dissipate funds on excessive overhead expenditure and extra-budgetary expenditure on contracts thereby reducing their operating surplus. Furthermore, twenty-six (26) of the MDAs that were audited did not deduct and/or remit a total of N1,650,417,379.30 (One billion, six hundred and fifty million, four hundred and seventeen thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine naira, thirty kobo). Overall, audit found that the sum of N20,675,801,479.59 (Twenty billion, six hundred and seventy-five million, eight hundred and one thousand, four hundred and seventy nine naira, fifty nine kobo) in various Taxes (PAYE, WHT, VAT, etc.) in the year under review, was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal government by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”.
Centre for Social Justice,