By Lawrence Olaoye Abuja
The National Economic Council (NEC) has said that the nation’s revenue generating agencies (RGAs) have underpaid the federal government to the tune of N8.086 trillion between 2010 and 2015.
The Council chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, which received and adopted the report of the KPMG audit of Revenue Generating Agencies (RGA), has ordered the refund of the money into government coffers with a mandate to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute those found culpable in the infraction.
Briefing newsmen after the monthly NEC meeting yesterday, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwabo, said KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs concluding that a total sum of N526 billion and USD$21 billion (7,560,000,000,000) was under-paid to the Federation Account.
“NEC’s Ad-hoc Committee chaired by Gombe State Governor with members including Governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and the Finance Minister recommended refund of the amounts under-paid. “Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee, including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.
“Council resolved to pursue strengthening of the NNPC governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the NNPC and other RGAs.”
The governor explained further, “One of the resolutions of NEC today is to extend the audit to June 2017. So, the audit will continue for the remaining agencies.”
Asked those agencies already audited by the KPMG, he said, “It is NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies; and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. Because it is voluminous report, there are a lot of items that are there.
“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up, which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will go into details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by office of the Attorney General of the Federation,” he concluded.
Zamfara State governor, Abdulazeez Yari, who also briefed the newsmen, said the Council deliberated on the establishment of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) in March 2017, as a vehicle for partnering with the Private Sector on the Industrial Agenda.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who was not at the briefing told the Council that the nation’s Excess Crude Account now stood at $1,830,683,945.30; Stabilization Fund Account at N15,725,456,963.83 and Natural Resources Development standing at N116,104,644,763.39.