The National Economic Council, NEC, has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and 17 other agencies in the country to refund unremitted revenues in the sum of N8trillion (about $21billion) and another N526billion into the Federation Account.
This was as it emerged that the eighteen Federal Government’s revenue generating agencies failed to remit N526bn and $21bn into the Federation Account between 2010 and June 2015. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has consequently recommended that the affected agencies be made to refund the money.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the NEC presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
The directive came yesterday, following the adoption of a report by auditing firm, KPMG.
Recall that following suspected cases of revenue leakages, NEC in August 2015 had constituted an ad-hoc committee to audit some government agencies allegedly remitting dollar revenue in naira into the national treasury.
The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant ministers as members.
Dankwambo explained that the shortchanging by the agencies was detected by an audit firm, KPMG, which was contracted by the NEC to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Accounts by the NEC.
The governor listed the government agencies indicted of underpayment by the audit report to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, among others.
Aside having to refund the money, Dankwambo said a sub-committee would be set up to look into the details of the infringement, stressing that those found to be criminal in nature would be handed over to the Attorney-General of the Federation for action.
The governor said, “KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs, concluding that a total sum of N526bn and $21 bn was underpaid to the Federation Account.
“NEC’s Ad-hoc Committee which I head with members including governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos states and the finance minister recommended refund of the amounts underpaid.
“Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.
“Council resolved to pursue the strengthening of the NNPC’s governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross underpayment by the NNPC and other RGAs.”
The governor said it was resolved that the audit period be extended to June 2017.
“One of the resolutions of NEC is to extend the audit to June 2017. So the audit will continue for the remaining agencies.
“It is NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. It is a voluminous report; there are a lot of items that are there.
“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into the details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”