From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Thursday, said the final report on the forensic audit of revenue accruals by revenue generating agencies confirmed massive under-remittances to government coffers to the tune of N8.1 trillion.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, who briefed 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 Adhoc Committee on Remittances, said the infractions were identified by KPMG which was contracted to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Account by NEC.
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 State governor said the financial audit consultancy firm (KPMG), covered 18 revenue generating agencies, which were found culpable of under-remitting to the Federal Government coffer up to the said sum. The agencies investigated include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Others include Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), among 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 Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for prosecution. He said, “KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs and concluded that the total sum of N526 billion and $21 billion were under-paid to the Federation Account.
“NEC’s Ad-hoc Committee chaired by Gombe State Governor with members that included Governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and the Finance Minister recommended a refund of the amounts under-paid.
“Council adopted the presentations and reports of 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 AGF and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council (NEC) for further action.
“Council resolved to pursue strengthening of NNPC governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the Corporation 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 not just NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, FIRS, NPA, Maritime authorities, but all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report.
“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 to look into details of these kinds of infringements and ensure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by Office of the AGF.”
The Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said NEC discussed the question of if states are to henceforth determine how much is paid as subsidy and not NNPC, but the final decision will be taken at the meeting in June.
Yari said, “yes, the item was brought up for discussion but it was referred back to the sub-committee on remittances in which I’m chairman. We are doing the nitty, gritty with NNPC in terms of remittances. Don’t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was because the oil prices were too low. It was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make their profit.
The Minister of Finance, 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, adding that the current balance in the Stabilisation Account as at May 14, 2018 stands at N15,725,456,963.83.