FG not monitoring 240 revenue-generating agencies, says Senate

FG not monitoring 240 revenue-generating agencies, says SenateThe Senate on Thursday expressed worry over the failure of agencies to remit revenues into the purse of the Federal Government.

It also challenged the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to develop a modern software that would enable government monitor revenues as they were being paid into the federation accounts every minute.

The red chamber noted with concerns that out of the 300 revenue-generating agencies, only about 60 were being monitored by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Members of the Senate Committee on Finance expressed the concern when the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, appeared before them to defend his 2021 budget proposals.

Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola, had sought to know  how AGF office was monitoring funds generated by the ministries, department and agencies of the Federal Government.

Responding, the AGF said, “There is no mechanism through which we monitor revenues of MDAs.

“We are trying to come up with something to that effect. As far as TSA is concerned, all revenues coming in, we have access to them.

“I agree that there is need for us to take advantage of digitalisation and know all the revenues coming into the government confers.

“There is need for a robust system. As for the TSA, we need to click before we can see what comes in or out.

“We are already operating a mechanism through which we make deductions quarterly from revenue-generating agencies. These revenue-generating agencies are not remitting monies as at when due.”

The Committee chairman, disagreed with Idris on deductions from the accounts of the MDAs.

He said, “What you’re doing is not known to law. We can’t be making laws and be breaking the same laws. If we need to amend the law, we should do it.

Adeola also decried the monopoly of remittances into Government confers, wondering why only one platform was used by the Federal Government.

He said, “There have been complaints and challenges with Remita.

“With the kind of revenues we have, we can’t rely on only one payment platform. We need to bring in more. As soon as possible, we want to see more revenue platforms come on board.”

According to the Chairman,  the Senate is anxious to work with the Office of the Accountant General to bring on board new players and end the current monopoly of REMITA.

He said, “There has been complaints about REMITA. This is one area we want to work with you. With the volume of money; having only one payment platform will not suffice.”

“We need more platforms that are formidable. REMITA has been there since  six to 10 years and has been collecting commissions running into billions of Naira,” he said.

Also speaking, Senator Patrick Akinyelure, agreed that REMITA had failed to meet huge demands.

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