Reps move to recover over N5bn operating surplus from previous JAMB management
•To conduct status inquiry on JAMB, MTN
The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to conduct the financial status of inquiry of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) between 2011 and 2015 for failing to recover the over N5.178 billion 80 percent operating surplus of the revenue accrued to the agency within the period under review.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abiodun Faleke who issued the directive during the ongoing investigative hearing into the under-remittances of revenue due to the Federal Government stressed the need to summon previous JAMB Registrar who steered the affairs of the institution between 2011 and 2015 to give an account of their stewardship.
While commending the incumbent JAMB Registrar for remitting N155 million in 2016 and N7.8 billion out of the total sum of N13.8 billion realized in 2017 into government’s coffer, Hon. Faleke expressed concern over the previous administration’s refusal to remit the 80% of the operating surplus or 25% of the total revenue whichever is higher into government’s coffer as stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, despite having lower staff strength and overhead cost.
While responding to inquiries from the lawmakers, the JAMB Registrar, Mr. Mufutau Bello explained that the agency paid additional N1 billion above the statutory N6.8 billion which represents the operating surplus in 2017, in line with the agency’s resolve to boost government’s revenue.
According to him, JAMB which currently has a total of 2,011 staff spent a total sum of N3 billion as salaries in 2019, against N2.021 billion spent in 2011 when the staff strength/recurrent budget was lower.
While stressing the need to unravel the justification for the non-remittance of the statutory revenues due to the Federation Account and Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) from JAMB and other revenue-generating agencies, Hon. Faleke dismissed insulation that the Committee is out to witch-hunt some individuals and agencies.
“We are interested in knowing what happened before, where is the money, if the money went into individuals or projects,” Hon. Faleke insisted.
In the same vein, the House directed the management team of MTN to provide all financial records of the company with the view to ascertain the revenue accrued to Federal Government including Value Added Tax (VAT), Education Tax, Withholding Tax (WHT) among others.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abiodun Faleke issued the directive during the investigative hearing, had earlier frowned at the appointment of former Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, stressing that such action may be construed as a compromise from someone who had helped the company while in office.
The Chairman also demanded documentary evidence of approval for the deferred tax payment as contained in the presentation of MTN delegates as well as a breakdown of the N135 billion cost of sales as reflected in the company’s audited account.
Similarly, the committee demanded further details on the N718 billion revenue declared in 2011, N118 billion for interconnectivity and actual rate being charged on interconnectivity cum the sum of N2.8 billion connection fee.
However, in his response, MTN’s Senior Manager Head of Tax and Finance, Mr. Olajide Yesufu, argued that the appointment was in line with the Corporate Governance law which provides that any public office holder can be appointed after two to three years of retirement from public service.