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Published On: Tue, Feb 11th, 2020

Reps accuse PPRA of defrauding FG N501.2m

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By Christiana Ekpa

The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) yesterday come under severe bashing by the House of Representatives committee who accused the agency of defaulting to the tune of several billions unremitted to the federation account, among which was N501.2 millions in just 2014 alone.
The House equally want the General Manager in charge of finance, Peter Joshua, to be sacked over his inability to keep records of the accounts of the agency since 2005, describing the GM as unfit and over aged on the job.
The House committee on Finance investigating unremitted funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs), made the discovery Monday in Abuja.
The committee headed by Hon Abiodun Faleke, lamented how PPPRA has shortchanged the government and people of the country for years.
Peoples Daily gathered at the meeting that in 2014 alone, PPPRA was to pay as revenue, the sum of N501.2 million to the consolidated revenue account, which it declined.
The agency also defaulted in subsequent years, 2015 till date, which is the period under review.
The committee argued that even if the N501million was a ‘constant’ as revenue from PPPRA within the period under consideration, it would have shortchanged government to the tune of over N2bn (N501m × 5 years).
While indicting the agency which is to reappear before the committee on February 24, with relevant documents, like statement of account, outstanding indebtedness, annual budgets, from 2011 till date and copies of all reconciliation, with NNPC, as well as all the contracts awarded and names of contracts and details, the Chairman of the committee accused the agency of hiding facts.
He said “If every agency keeps N501.2m every year, what is left”.
The committee recommended for the sack of the PPPRA’s Director of Finance, Peter Joshua, who represented the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, for allegedly concealing facts and figures required by the committee in its investigation.
But in his submission, the Finance Director blamed the current situation to the inability to reconcile figures with the NNPC. He said that the NNPC was still indebted to it.
Meanwhile, the National Ear Centre was also grilled by the committee and directed to reappear with relevant operating receipts for treatments, surgeries undertaken, registrations, medical reports, in order to reconcile remittances it made to government as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The committee warned that every revenue due to government must be recovered and paid into the treasury so that there will be funds to implement the 2020 budget outside oil money.

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