Reps demand records on CBN revenues, capital projects

•To conduct Status of Inquiry into CAC over N2.7bn loss in 2017

The House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled plans to investigate all the revenues accruing into coffers of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the view to ascertain the actual revenue due to the Federal Government between 2011 to date.

Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abiodun Faleke who stated this during the ongoing investigative hearing into the under-remittance by major Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), also underscored the need to conduct Status of Inquiry into the revenues and expenditure of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) within the same period under review.

While engaging CBN Governor’s representative, Head, Financial Reporting, Mr Joseph Salako, the Committee frowned at the failure of the apex bank to provide relevant financial documents as stipulated in the two letters sent earlier.

Some of the documents requested for include: all sources of income; details of contracts awarded and contract sum; Internally Generated Revenue; evidence of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) payments as well as all remittances and dates; treasury receipts GIFMIS within the period under review.

Hon. Faleke explained that the ongoing investigative hearing was aimed at recovering outstanding revenues withheld by all revenue-generating agencies including the CBN to fund the 2020 budget.

While stressing that the apex bank occupies a strategic position of the Nigerian economy, Hon. Faleke disclosed that about N1 billion outstanding was recorded against the apex bank by the Accountant General office.

While responding, the CBN Governor’s representative, Mr Salako argued that the apex bank has over the years complied with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act with stipulates the payment of 80% operating surplus to government’s coffer.

He stressed that the apex bank does not have any record to show that the bank is indebted to Federal Government as alleged.

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In a related development, the committee quizzed the CAC Deputy Director, Accounts Department, Mr Uzor Oji and officials of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) over under-remittance of revenue between 2011 and 2019.

Worried by the level of discrepancies in the amount presented by the Accountant General office and the agencies, the Committee resolved to summon FRC Acting Chairman, Mr Victor Muruako.

Hon. Faleke said: “We will summon you and your boss here because your memos cause confusion. Mr Victor, your boss, should report here on Monday by 1pm.”

On the other hand, the Chairman queried CAC over the remittance of N2.7 billion loss recorded in 2017 and the remittance of N275 million.

“I don’t understand this. Honourable colleagues, I think we need to place a serious status enquiry on them. The more I look the more I see.

“You know why I said we need to take a more serious look? My understanding of the (Fiscal Responsibility) Act and the regulations is that either you pay 80 per cent surplus or 25 per cent of your IGR, whichever that is higher. I need to determine and we need to agree with you that what you based your calculation on was the higher one. For you to tell us that if you have a budget of N9 billion and you expended N13.7 billion of revenue of N9 billion, you borrowed money?”

While responding to the queries raised by the lawmakers, Mr Orji said: “We did not. Our account is prepared on the accrual basis. The commission prepares its account in line with international financial accounting standards.”

While ruling, Hon. Faleke, said: “The Accountant-General’s record of 2017 signifies that you owe N3.7 billion. Clerk, give them another date. We will dedicate that day to the Corporate Affairs Commission. This one, so many things are wrong, with what I’m seeing here. Come back on 24th of February.”

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