Reps demand NNPC’s evidence of revenue remitted into federation account - The Gallant News


Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Reps demand NNPC’s evidence of revenue remitted into federation account


• as SEC moves to downsize workers over high cost of governance

The House of Representatives on Tuesday demanded records of revenue remitted by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into the Federation account between 2014 and 2019.

The lawmakers issued the directive in Abuja, during an investigative hearing on the ‘monitoring and investigating revenue remittances by the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of government into the public coffers, held at the instance of the House Committee on Finance.

The lawmakers also demanded the NNPC’s audited account from 2014 to 2017, the details of advanced consideration received from customers in 2018 and 2019 which amounted to N1.905 billion and N820.511 million respectively.

In his intervention, Chairman, House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai explained that the investigative hearing was aimed at assisting the Parliament to block all revenue leakages within the public financing system.

He said: “We will want you to furnish us with the details of the advanced consideration received from customers in 2018 and 2019 which amounted to N1.904,495 000 in 2019 and N820,511,000 and also provide the details of the customers and the amount paid by each and any other relevant information.

“It was also observed that you have a budget performance for the year 2014 to 2019 but only the audited account of 2018 and 2019 were provided; provide the audited account for 2014 to 2017 so that we can do some reconciliation.

“It can be deduced from your budget performance that you have unspent balances from 2014 to 2019, provide your schedule of remittances of your unspent balances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund to enable us do some reconciliations.”

While stressing the need for vetting of the Corporation’s account detail, the Committee directed the physical appearance of the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari and heads of all NNPC subsidiaries.

Speaking earlier, NNPC Group General Manager, Federation Account, Mr Bello Abdullahi argued that the Corporation has always rendered its account at the FAAC monthly meetings and also published details of revenue generation in at least two national dailies and on the corporation’s website.

He explained that the subsidiaries were registered under Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and as such paid their taxes to the authorities.

Bello however said that the subsidiaries do not make remittances directly into the federation account but through the Corporation.

In his remarks, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon Saidu Abdullahi who presided over the hearing expressed displeasure with the way NNPC subsidiaries were run.

“If you said outside of the tax they pay, they do not pay any dividend to NNPC, I think there is a flaw in that, I cannot have a company that will only be responsible for payment of tax.

“I have an objective for establishing the company; when next you are to appear before us, the appearance will have to be with the heads of the subsidiaries including the GMD of NNPC.

“As a country, it is time we must sit down as citizens and talk to ourselves, we have a responsibility of making this country work and for us to make it work is by doing what is right.

“We have seen loopholes, we have seen leakages; we cannot overemphasize that the economy this country has the capacity to fund N15 trillion budget; what we need to do is to ensure every agency is on its food and ensure we do what is right.

“Some of us are interested. We need you to make more money, absolutely. If you want to spend more money, you should make more than what you need to spend. A situation where agencies will make more money and spent everything, I think, is not something that in this age and era should be acceptable to us. So you need to take that back home.

“Then, you provide us with the schedules of the agreement you had with them. As I said, you need to quickly do the reconciliation for 2019 and 2020 so that from there we will be able to make progress. The Committee is going to get back to you. The Clerk will communicate some of these things to you,” he said.

In a related development, authorities of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), unveiled plans to reduce the workforce as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of governance.

The SEC Director-General, Lamido Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Ibrahim Boyi informed the Committee on Finance that 80 percent of the agency’s cost was spent on staff, especially the management cadre.

He said: “This is the evidence of the Accountant General’s office. As I said, we have reconciled fully up to 2018 and, you know, in 2020 there’s a new directive by the Federal Government that whether you are a self-funding agency or not, 25% of the revenue that hits your TSA will be deducted and that has been going on and we are also going to factor that into our subsequent reconciliation with the office of the Accountant General.

“Unfortunately, for SEC for 2019, 2020 and this year, we’re likely to end up with some deficits because of revenue shortfalls.

“Mr Chairman, I am part of the Executive Management. So, I’m fully involved with most of those initiatives. There are two forms of approaches. One is to see how to boost-widen the revenue of the Commission. Two is also how to reduce the cost of the Commission.

“Unfortunately, almost 80% of our cost is staff cost. So, we need to find a way of chopping off that cost and I think work is already going on. We are top-heavy, almost 50% of our staff are from senior managers.

“So, that’s the mandate I think we have taken as management and the board and I’m sure in the matter of a few months, we’ll be able to come with a solution but the idea really is to make the Commission more sustainable and make sure that our revenue is going forward.”

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