The Federal Government has so far recovered N1.44bn from three of its agencies alleged not to have remitted their operating surpluses as stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
The agencies are the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, from which N108m was recovered; the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, N278m; and Nigerian Shippers Council, N1.05bn.
The development was confirmed by a statement issued by the Director Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, on Wednesday.
The statement explained that the recovery was made following actions taken by the committee set up by the government with the task of recovering the unremitted N450bn operating surpluses from the revenue generating agencies.
It added that a meeting was scheduled with 33 of the agencies where demand notices were issued to 17 of them on how the unremitted funds would be repaid.
The statement explained that out of the 17 that were supposed to be at the meeting, which held on December 6, only 10 attended owing to the short notice, while others were asked to present their repayment plans at a later date.
Those present at the meeting were the NSC, NEPC, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The rest are the Nigerian Postal Service, National Pension Commission, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, RMRDC and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.
The ministry said those agencies that failed to appear would do so at a rescheduled date.
Some of the agencies that will now appear before the committee to present their repayment plans are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Television Authority and the National Information Technology Development Agency.
The statement read in part, “As the Federal Government intensifies efforts to recover unremitted operating surpluses by agencies and increase independent revenue, an additional sum of N793m has been recovered from three Federal Government agencies by the recovery committee set up two weeks ago by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“So far, the cumulative total amount recovered is N1.44bn, given the earlier recovery of N650m from the Nigerian Shippers Council, even as several other agencies are in the process of submitting repayment plans for approval.”
Adeosun had while announcing the amount that was not remitted by the agencies lamented that while the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 was designed to provide guidelines and control to elicit greater accountability and transparency in fiscal operations, actual compliance by revenue generating agencies had been poor.
This, according to her, has resulted in revenue leakages as confirmed by the audit findings conducted by the ministry.
The minister gave the infractions committed by these agencies to include non-remittance and under-remittance of operating surpluses due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund; operating without approved budgets; overstating of budgets and spending above budgeted amounts; and under-reporting of revenues.
The audit report, according to the minister, also revealed that payments were made without invoices and payment receipts; while loans and grants were given to parent ministries without prior approval.