The Senate’s recent decision to beam its searchlight on revenue-generating federally controlled Ministries Department and Agencies on its financial flow is already proving to be worth the while as the upper chambers of the National Assembly continue to unravel irregularities in the system.
A damning revelation from series of meetings in the investigative process has it that by implication, government-owned enterprises are major contributors to the failure of the government to meet up its revenue target for several years now.
The senators in a motion led by the Committee Chairman on Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan pointed out that a sum of ₦3 trillion is suspected to have been unremitted by these government-owned enterprises as operational surplus, labeling it as illegal the practice against the 1999 Constitutional provision and the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2007.
As a confirmation to these alleged funds, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has recently affirmed with its reconciliation that over ₦1 trillion are currently hanging unremitted with identified agencies. These figures translate to 80 percent of operational surpluses unaccounted for and some channeled towards frivolous expenditure.
In a recent session with Sen. Adeola Olamilekan, Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab, and representatives from the Office of the Accountant General; lack of diligence in the collection of operational surplus is also responsible for the ongoing revenue shortage experienced by the government.
The Minister of Finance however commended the legislative arm of government for its in-depth look into the issue of revenue generation and remittances from MDAs, noting a recent appreciable increase in remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Funds. This appreciable increase is insinuated to be a resultant effect of the ongoing probe.
The Senate Committee on Finance report below
“We discovered that 10 Government-Owned Enterprises which we have identified at the beginning of trying to bring these Government Owned Enterprises and subsequently increasing to about 50 to 60 GOE.
“The reconciliation done so far by the Office of Accountant General of the Federation is more than over a trillion naira going to like ₦2 trillion thereabout and these monies are still hanging in the hand of these agencies and we have asked the office of Accountant General that what are they doing to get the money into the government coffer and we discovered that they are giving them a payment notice without necessarily following up this process.
“We have noticed that the so-called 80 percent of the operational surplus, many of these agencies proved frivolous expenditure and they have taken advantage of the current system and refuse to remit this amount as and when due.
“We tried to audit the account of these agencies year in year out for the past five years and some of the revelations are scary. How do we explain that an agency of government that has a provision in the budget for Capital, Overhead, and Personel in their audited account, they have gross revenue of ₦500 million and they are asking for ₦200 million.”
What you should know,
Recall that Taxmobil.Online had analyzed recently that the House of Senate is currently looking into revenue remittances by Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) between 2014 and 2020 and the payment of 1% Stamp Duty on all contract awarded by the MDAs within the same period.
A recent update also has it that the Executive arm of government is equally scrutinizing the template used to calculate the remittance and deduction of operating surpluses by agencies of government to ensure that the right amount is paid to the government.
As clarified by the DG. Budget Office, all revenue generated by agencies fully funded by the government must be paid in full into the CRF. This means that operating surpluses do not apply to these fully funded agencies.