Reps Query CBN, FIRS, NCS Over N7.935bn

The House of Representatives committee on Public Accounts has queried the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over a discrepancy of N7.935 billion in internally generated revenue remitted to the Federation Account in 2007 by the Nigerian Customs Service.

Chairman of the House committee on public accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola, who made the enquiry on behalf of the committee in a meeting with the agencies yesterday, also queried the unexplained delay of remittance of the sum of N14.210 billion import duties collected and lodged into CBN Port Harcourt by Customs Area Command Port Harcourt.

According to him, the money was said to have been collected in August 2006 but was not transferred to the Federation Account until January 2007.

Adeola said whereas an audit examination of the records of the Nigeria Customs Service for the Federation Account revealed that the total amount generated and remitted by the service for the year 2007 was N233.430 billion, the total amount received by FAAC showed N241.366Bn, a discrepancy of N7.935 billion.

According to him, “this implies that the actual amount of revenue generated and remitted by the NCS was less than the amount presented to FAAC for sharing as indicated by the CBN “

He therefore mandated the acting chairman of the FIRS, Alhaji Mashi, the deputy governor of CBN (operations), Tunde Remo and the Accountant General of the Federal, Mr Jonah Otunla to work with some members of the public accounts committee led by Hon. Pally ,? to reconcile the differentials and report back on Wednesday.

Giving the presentation of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the public hearing, representative of the governor, Mr Tunde Remo, expressed worry that the matter being addressed dated as far back as 2007, though unresolved while the FIRS acting chairman informed the committee that both the FIRS and CBN had reconciled on the N582 million difference and discovered that it was only N261 million resulting from double entry error.

Going further, Adeola pointed out that the committee had observed that from documents made available by the accountant general’s office, that the component statements of 2007 Joint Venture Cash Calis (JVC) of the sum of N549 billion Excess Crude of the sum of N1.168 trillion and Petroleum Product Subsidy of the sum of N236.641 billion were deducted from proceeds of crude oil sales, while the sums of N25.951 billion and N62.542 billion were excess proceeds deducted in respect of Petroieum Profit Tax (PPT) and royalties respectively.

He said these deductions were made before the net revenues were paid to the Federation Account contrary to the provisions of Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which requires all such revenues to be paid directly into the Federation Account.

Other queries expected to be addressed by the CBN include the N124. 673 million allegedly deducted from the Federation Account.

The CBN is to also explain the States’ Contractual Obligation in which the sums of N210 million and N13.341 million were paid in the months of March and April, 2007 respectively as contractual obligations to a contractor by the order of the Governor of Anambra State.

The chairman said “This payment is contrary to the provisions of sections 162 (1), 162(3) and 120(3&4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. The Accountant-General of the Federation has been informed of this irregular payment from the Federation Account, and he was advised to ensure that -henceforth payment of Contractual obligations from the Federation Account should cease.