…… Exchange Commission drops hints of downsizing
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to produce evidence of its remittances into the Federation account between 2014 and 2019.
This was just as Security and Exchange Commission, SEC disclosed that it was considering an option that would help it reduce the cost of governance.
The Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda represented by the Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Ibrahim D. Boyi at the House of Representatives Committee on Finance monitoring and investigating revenue remittances by the Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs of government into the public coffers, said 80 percent of the agency’s cost was spent on staff, especially the management cadre.
He said: “This is the evidence of the Accountant General’s office. Like I said, we have reconciled fully up to 2018 and, you know, in 2020 there’s a new directive by the Federal Government that whether you are self funding agency or not, 25% of Revenue that hits your TSA will be deducted and that has been going on and we are also going to factor that into our subsequent reconciliation with the office of the Accountant General.
“Unfortunately, for SEC for 2019, 2020 and this year, we’re likely to end up with some deficits because of revenue shortfalls.
“I am part of the Executive Management. So, I’m fully involved with most of those initiatives. There are two forms of approaches. One is to see how to boost-widen the revenue of the Commission. Two is also how to reduce the cost of the Commission.
“Unfortunately, almost 80% of our cost is staff cost. So, we need to find a way of chopping off that cost and I think work is already going on. We are top heavy, almost 50% of our staff are from senior managers.
“So, that’s the mandate I think we have taken as management and the board and I’m sure in the matter of a few months, we’ll be able to come with a solution but the idea really is to make the Commission more sustainable and make sure that our revenue is going forward.”
Similarly, in a separate meeting with the officials of NNPC, the Committee asked the corporation to submit evidences of revenue remittances into Consolidation Federation Account from 2014 to 2019.
It also demanded its audited account from 2014 to the 2017, the details of advanced consideration received from customers in 2018 and 2019 which amounted to N1.904,495,000 and N820,511,000 respectively.
The lawmakers also called for the account details of the corporation just as it also requested the appearance of the Group Managing Director, GMD, Mele Kyari and all the heads of all NNPC subsidiaries.
The demands were, however, at the instance of a member of the Committee, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai who said that the essence was to assist the parliament block all revenue leakages within the public financial system.
He said: “We will want you to furnish us with the details of the advanced consideration received from customers in 2018 and 2019 which amounted to N1.904, 495, 000 in 2019 and N820, 511, 000 and also provide the details of the customers and the amount paid by each an any other relevant information.
“It was also observed that you have a budget performance for the year 2014 to 2019 but only the audited account of 2018 and 2019 were provided; provide the audited account for 2014 to 2017 so that we can do some reconciliation.
“It can be deduced from your budget performance that you have unspent balances from 2014 to 2019, provide your schedule of remittances of your unspent balances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund to enable us do some reconciliations”.
Earlier in his presentation, the Group General Manager, Federation Account of NNPC, Mr Bello Abdullahi said that NNPC has always rendered its account at the FAAC monthly meetings and also published details of revenue generation in a least two national dailies and on the corporation’s website.
He explained that the subsidiaries were registered under Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and as such paid their taxes to the authorities.
Bello however said that the subsidiaries do not make remittances directly into the federation account but through them.
In his remarks, the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Saidu Abdullahi who presided over the hearing expressed displeasure with the way NNPC subsidiaries were run.
According to him, there were flaws in the running of the business which he said needed to be corrected.
“If you said outside of the tax they pay, they do not pay any dividend to NNPC, I think there is flaw in that, I cannot have a company that will only be responsible for payment of tax.
“I have an objective for establishing the company; when next you are to appear before us, the appearance will have to be with the heads of the subsidiaries including the GMD of NNPC.
“As a country, it is time we must sit down as citizens and talk to ourselves, we have a responsibility of making this country work and for us to make it work is by doing what is right.
“We have seen loopholes, we have seen leakages; we cannot over emphasize that the economy this country has the capacity to fund a N15 trillion budget; what we need to do is to ensure every agencies is on its food and ensure we do what is right.
“Some of us are interested. We need you to make more money. Absolutely. If you want to spend more money, you should make more than what you need to spend. A situation where agencies will make more money and spent everything, I think, is not something that in this age and era should be acceptable to us. So you need to take that back home.