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Senate panel probes MDAs over N3trn ‘unremitted’ revenue

The senate committee on finance has disclosed that some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) failed to remit over N3 trillion to the consolidated revenue fund (CRF) of the federal government between 2014 and 2020.

According to the chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola, the unremitted revenue may have been trapped with the MDAs or spent on frivolous expenditures.

Adeola said non-remittance of revenue is contrary to the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and the fiscal responsibility act (FRA) 2007.

Adeola made this disclosure at the ongoing investigation of remittances of revenue by MDAs and payment of one percent stamp duty on contracts between 2014 and 2020.

“The government cannot continue to borrow yearly while the revenue from agencies that the government is financing with the borrowings are spent contrary to the laws of the land,” Adeola said.

“From submissions already made and calculations from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, about 60 Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs), may have about N3 trillion of government revenue still unremitted in their coffers. Or already spent on frivolous expenditure contrary to the Constitution and FRA 2007.”

He noted that since the commencement of the investigation, some agencies had complied in paying back millions of naira with receipts from the office of the accountant general of the federation (OAGF).

According to him, the size of the nation’s deficit would be reduced and borrowing would be minimised if revenues were paid to the CRF for proper appropriation by the parliament during budget considerations.

“We cannot continue to run government business as we used to do in this time when there are huge demands for government to fund needed infrastructure and other socio-economic programmes,” he added.

Speaking when she appeared before the committee, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, explained that the executive arm is examining the application of the template of calculating and deducting operating surpluses by agencies in order to ensure that the right amount was paid to government.

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