By Aminu Imam
The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has said that poor tracking of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), leakages and non-remittance of revenues by collecting entities are challenges affecting revenue collection by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of various arms of government in the country.
The OAGF also listed misappropriation of revenue and inadequate or outright absence of records as other challenges.
The Deputy-Director, Fiscal Accounts Division, OAGF, Sylva Okolieaboh, said because of these challenges, the Federal Government did not meet its IGR target in 2014.
“Of the N452bn expected from IGR to be earned by the MDAs for 2014, only N148bn was earned,” he said.
Okolieaboh spoke in Lagos on Wednesday, at a sensitisation workshop on the Federal Government e-Collection system, organised by the OAGF.
He said the N148bn was realised by October 2014 through e-collection and that the process completed the cycle of processing government transactions electronically.
Okolieaboh, who was represented by Chamberlain Surarumso, said the process of introducing e-collection started in May 2013 when commercial banks and payment service providers were engaged in Lagos.
According to him, the Federal Government chose e-collection because there are several issues around the manual process.
“Poor tracking of IGR and other collections; leakages of government revenue and other inflows; non-remittance of revenue by collecting entities; misappropriation of revenue and other collections; and inadequate, or sometimes, outright lack of records are among the challenges that IGR collections have encountered,” he said.
Okolieaboh said the need for the e-collection process, which runs on Remita software from SystemSpecs, was aimed, among other things, to plug loopholes in the Federal Government’s revenue collection system.
“It was also aimed at enthroning a new regime of transparent and accountable IGR management; improve available funds for funding developmental programmes; aligns with the on-going Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) e-payment policy; ease the burden of revenue payers; make government contracts more accessible to the people and create a mutually rewarding relationship with the collecting banks,” he added.
Speaking on ‘e-Collection in a Cash-less Society’, the Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the process had brought firmer grip on monetary policy and its attendant effects on inflation and economic stability, greater financial inclusion, increased economic development, increased/transparent tax collection and increased IGR.