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Reps C’ttee warns PPPRA against sabotage of ongoing probe of under-recovery expenditure

.Grill NAFDAC, NCAT, others over revenue leakages 

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.Threaten to amend some agencies Act

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JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja

 

 

.Accuse other agencies of recycling projects 

 

The House of Representatives on Thursday vowed not to be cowed in its quest to ascertain the actual volume of premium motor spirit (PMS) and other petroleum products in the country.

Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Faleke, issued the notice during the ongoing interactive session on the 2020-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Hon. Faleke who frowned at the failure of the PPPRA Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdulkadir Saidu to appear as scheduled, threatened that the Committee will activate relevant sections of the Constitution to compel his appearance.

He said: “we write you to appear before us today. You were here two days ago. And you presented documents to us which we reviewed.

“But we discovered that your figures contradicted itself and we asked you to take a date to appear; and you took yesterday.

“Yesterday, suddenly you presented a letter to say you couldn’t come yesterday.

“Today, we are here; you must appear before us with your documents.

“Your figures will determine the volume that we consume in this country and the under-recovery.

 

“We need to know and if you don’t bring them, we will of course take the appropriate action against you,” Hon. Faleke ruled

The House of Representatives Committee of Finance on Thursday grilled the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology NCAT and other federal agencies over their contributions to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation on their generated revenues.

The Chairman of the House Committee Hon. James Faleke had in an address informed that the interactive engagement with the federal government agencies is geared at plucking the leakages in revenue sources to the government and need to shore up funds for the deficits in their annual budgets.

He however noted that many of the invited agencies are in the habit of recycling capital projects in their annual budgets and threatened that the committee would ensure that the Act establishing them is amended to forestall such acts in the future.

He further hinted that the committee had uncovered underremittances by some of the invited agencies even as he frowned at the absence of some of the agencies.

He had earlier read the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 to the heads of agencies under probe which provides that they should pay 25% of their internally generated revenues into the federal government coffers on annual basis.

While grilling the revenue remittances of NAFFAC, the lawmakers had queried the agency’s percentage of the internally generated revenues remitted into the federal coffers for three years 2018-2020.

The lawmaker and other committee members had inquired into whether the agency is having improvement on its internally generated revenue drives and posed questions about its revenue sources.

But the Director-General DG of NAFDAC Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said that the agency is meeting its revenue targets but had expended most of it funds on capital projects.

She further told the committee that she inherited a debt of N3.5 billion upon assumption of office as head of the agency but had paid N3.1 billion out of it.

Also in a brief presentation to the committee the Director of Finance and Account of NAFDAC Mr Ayewanle Gbenga said that the agency is not captured into the provisions of the law on payment of 25% of generated revenues to the Federal Government.

He however informed the committee that the agency generated N11.16 billion in 2019 and expended N10. 1 billion adding that the remaining funds are rolled over in a new year’s budget.

But the Committee had insisted that they have to pay a percentage of the overall generated revenues to the federal purse as the committee chairman said that they cannot operate outside the budget system.

Similarly, the lawmaker while probing the NCAT Zaria on its remittances to the federal coffers also stated that such a critical government agency is spending more money than the government itself.

However the Director of Budget in the agency Engr Ibrahim Joseph who represented the Director-General told the committee that in six years, they generated N19 billion and remitted N1.4 billion to the federal government.

The Committee helmsman who frowned at the contradictions in some of the presentations done by some agencies on their remittances said they should go and reconcile with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission on the matter and represent their reports later.

He also frowned at the absence of some of the invited agencies notably MBET, NITDA, AMCON, Export Processing Zone and Nigeria Export Promotion Council NIPC among others asking them to report at its next sitting on Sept 17, 2021.

 

 

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