The House of Representatives yesterday averted a dispute over the fine points of a directive compelling agencies of the federal government responsible for remitting revenue accruals to the federation account to pay 25% of their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) to the federal government.
The agencies at the session were: the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The CAC, whose IGR for 2013 was N9.7 b, particularly raised concern that N100 million was arbitrarily withdrawn from its account by the OAGF, which claimed it was 25% cost reduction fund based on a directive to it by the finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Chairman of the finance committee, Abdulmumini Jibrin (APC, Kano) mediated in the dispute by suggesting that both the OAGF and the CAC should meet privately with the committee to thrash out the grey areas of the matter.
Before Jibrin’s intervention, the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), Samuel Tyonongo Ukura, explained that his office had a target for agencies remitting funds to it based on an official circular, adding that some of the agencies were not complying with the directive, “so the minister of finance asked us to go and analyse agencies that have not met their targets.”
In the course of carrying out this assignment, the OAGF checked the CAC account and debited the sum of N100 million accordingly. “But they later complained and their complaint was found to be genuine. So, we are in the process of refunding the money,” Ukura stated.
On his part, the chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabiru Mashi told the committee that at a point it paid its operating surplus into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), but this was queried at a certain federation account meeting.
FIRS said that it remitted a total of N84miliion between 2011 and 2013 into the Federation Account. It also paid N4.1 billion as Operating Surplus within the same period.
The CAC, RMRDC and the NCS generated over N25 billion, N42million and N68.5 million respectively.