Revenue collecting banks engaged by the Federal Government have withheld a whopping N78.3 billion within a span of eight years, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) has revealed.
Of the amount withheld, N61.9 billion has so far been recovered in two tranches of N4.2 billion and N57.7 billion with a balance of N16.4 billion still outstanding, as some of the banks are still unwilling to refund the government revenue.
Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mallam Umar Abba Gana, disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Abuja.
He explained that the recovery of the government revenue illegally held by banks was part of the Commission’s efforts to boost revenue accruals into the Federation Account distributed at the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings.
According to him: “The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission has recovered the sum of N57.7 billion unremitted revenue from collecting banks following intensive verification and reconciliation of revenue collections and remittances by collecting banks engaged by the Customs Service and the FIRS between July 2012-Dec. 2015.
“In an earlier exercise covering January 2008-June 2012, we had announced the recovery of the sum of N4.2 billion from the banks promising that more recoveries would be made. Buoyed by the huge success recorded, the Commission following the approval of the National Economic Council launched the second phase of the exercise covering the period July 2012-Dec. 2015 which so far established the sum of N57.7 billion.”
He explained that of the recent amount recovered, the sum of N48.7 billion has already been remitted into the Federation Account while the remaining balance of N9.07 billion, which relates to withholding tax on dividend only has been duly released to the benefitting States Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR).
The RMAFC acting chairman also disclosed that in the course of the exercise, which is on-going, the Commission had to seek the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the recoveries following the uncooperative attitude earlier exhibited by some revenue generating agencies and collecting banks. He reiterated the Commission’s resolve to follow up on the outstanding balance of N16.4billion liabilities established which demand notice was issued to banks but yet to be defrayed.