The Federal government on Thursday disclosed that an audit it carried out revealed that about 450 billion naira was yet to be remitted to the federation account by several agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Hon Minister of Finance, made the startling disclosure at a news conference in Abuja.
According to the Minister, the affected agencies have been asked to come up with a plan to repay the amount, insisting that the federal government is resolved to get the money back into its coffers.
“Those agencies are supposed to generate an operating surplus of which 80% is supposed to be paid into the treasury. Most of the m have never remmitted or generated any surplus.
“So, to solve that problem, we decided to do an audit of 33 of those government agencies. So far we have identified 450 billion as outstanding and recoverable as operating surpluses from various government agencies,” she said.
She said that government understands that these monies might have been spent but “the money has to be paid”. The agencies involved will therefore have to come up with a plan on how to repay the money to the government.
The affected agencies are:
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Nigerian Shippers Council
Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)
Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)
Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST)
National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA)
Nigeria Television Authority (NTA)
Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE)
National Pensions Commission (PenCom)
Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET)
Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC)
Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA)
Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)
Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN)
The Minister did not rule out the possibility of inviting the EFCC, especially where cases of criminality are established.
According to her, “We have been getting positive responses. Some agencies have started making remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
“For instance, about N640 million was received from Nigeria Shippers Council on Wednesday. Our duty is strictly auditing and investigating. We are not a prosecuting agencies.
“That is why we will be reporting some of these defaulting agencies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution,” Mrs Adeosun said.