By EricJames Ochigbo, Abuja.
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance has frowned at perceptible discrepancies in the figures of Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 2021 remittances by government agencies.
Rep. Stanley Olajide (APC-Oyo), member of the committee, made the observation at a public hearing on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework in Abuja on Tuesday.
Olajide said that the figures presented by the OAGF and the CBN on remittances by some agencies like the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), were not the identical, adding that while the OAGF record indicated that the commission remitted N27 million, that of CBN showed only N13.63 million.
“I think with this discrepancy we are looking at right here, a status inquiry is required; because for this to be going on, I mean, we are talking about taxpayers’ money.
“How can we have a process when money is sitting in CBN account and we do not know what agency will be credited for it; I think it is absurd, we need to go deep to find out what is going on here.
“Secondly Mr Chairman, looking at their submission, every year all these agencies come here and it is just about coming for a piece of the pie, we are borrowing money to fund all these budgets.
“N2 billion in grants received and you are talking about 1 per cent return on investment, director of finance, who does that?,” he said.
“Let’s just look at 2021, N2.4 billion received and look at the kind of remittance, you are talking about N13 million and we are talking about running a nation.
“There is a committee talking about merging all these agencies, if their agency refuses to perform the way it needs to, maybe it’s time for us to collapse it into something else. Return on investment matters now, with what we are going through in Nigeria.”
Mr Clestus Nna, the Director of Finance, ECN, told the committee that the commission had receipts for funds remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
“For 2021, we have the treasury receipt to back our 100-per-cent remittance to the CFR.
“Our record is N13 million, we have tender fees; we generated N12 million from tender fees; we have options, we generated N553,000 and refunds, which is N183,000. The total is N13, 627, 000,’’ he said.
The chairman of the committee adjourned the hearing until Monday, Sept. 5, calling for reconciliation of the figures before the adjourned date.