- FG Recovers N1.44bn From NEPC, RMRDC, NSC
The Federal Government has so far recovered N1.44bn from three of its agencies alleged not to have remitted their operating surpluses as stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
The agencies are the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, from which N108m was recovered; the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, N278m; and Nigerian Shippers Council, N1.05bn.
The development was confirmed by a statement issued by the Director Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, on Wednesday.
The statement explained that the recovery was made following actions taken by the committee set up by the government with the task of recovering the unremitted N450bn operating surpluses from the revenue generating agencies.
It added that a meeting was scheduled with 33 of the agencies where demand notices were issued to 17 of them on how the unremitted funds would be repaid.
The statement explained that out of the 17 that were supposed to be at the meeting, which held on December 6, only 10 attended owing to the short notice, while others were asked to present their repayment plans at a later date.
Those present at the meeting were the NSC, NEPC, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The rest are the Nigerian Postal Service, National Pension Commission, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, RMRDC and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.
The ministry said those agencies that failed to appear would do so at a rescheduled date.
Some of the agencies that will now appear before the committee to present their repayment plans are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Television Authority and the National Information Technology Development Agency.
The statement read in part, “As the Federal Government intensifies efforts to recover unremitted operating surpluses by agencies and increase independent revenue, an additional sum of N793m has been recovered from three Federal Government agencies by the recovery committee set up two weeks ago by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“So far, the cumulative total amount recovered is N1.44bn, given the earlier recovery of N650m from the Nigerian Shippers Council, even as several other agencies are in the process of submitting repayment plans for approval.”
Adeosun had while announcing the amount that was not remitted by the agencies lamented that while the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 was designed to provide guidelines and control to elicit greater accountability and transparency in fiscal operations, actual compliance by revenue generating agencies had been poor.
This, according to her, has resulted in revenue leakages as confirmed by the audit findings conducted by the ministry.
The minister gave the infractions committed by these agencies to include non-remittance and under-remittance of operating surpluses due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund; operating without approved budgets; overstating of budgets and spending above budgeted amounts; and under-reporting of revenues.
The audit report, according to the minister, also revealed that payments were made without invoices and payment receipts; while loans and grants were given to parent ministries without prior approval.
Federal Government Clears $120m Debt to Gas Companies Amid Nigeria’s Power Crisis
Amidst Nigeria’s persistent power crisis, the Federal Government has taken a pivotal step forward by clearing a significant portion of its debt to gas companies.
A sum of $120 million has been paid out of the country’s $1.3 billion indebtedness to gas suppliers, offering a glimmer of hope for improved energy stability across the nation.
The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, underscored the critical role of gas in power generation and highlighted how the mounting debts had severely hampered gas supply to electricity-generating companies, exacerbating the country’s electricity shortfall.
Nigeria heavily relies on thermal power plants fueled by gas for over 70% of its electricity needs, making the timely settlement of gas debts paramount for enhancing power generation capacity and addressing the nation’s energy deficit.
Addressing delegates at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, the Director of the Decade of Gas Secretariat, Ed Ubong, expressed optimism about the government’s progress in offsetting its financial obligations to gas producers.
He emphasized the importance of aligning gas and power sectors to foster sustainable energy solutions.
As Nigeria grapples with the multifaceted challenges plaguing its energy landscape, the government’s commitment to settling outstanding gas debts marks a pivotal stride towards revitalizing the country’s power infrastructure and ensuring reliable electricity access for its citizens.
Nigeria Insurance Corporation Reimburses Depositors of 179 Closed Microfinance and Four Mortgage Banks
The Nigeria Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has announced the successful reimbursement of depositors affected by the closure of 179 microfinance banks and four mortgage banks across the country.
The reassuring news came during the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, where NDIC’s Managing Director, Dr. Bello Hassan, explained the corporation’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding depositors’ funds amidst financial uncertainties.
Dr. Hassan, represented by Hauwa Gambo, the NDIC’s Deputy Director of Communication, highlighted the corporation’s proactive measures in protecting the interests of depositors.
The introduction of the Single Customer View framework has expedited the process of reimbursing depositors of liquidated banks, ensuring swift and transparent transactions.
The corporation’s collaboration with the judiciary has yielded positive results, facilitating the speedy prosecution of failed insured banks and resolving long-standing cases of bank liquidations like Fortune and Triumph Banks.
This concerted effort has significantly enhanced the debt recovery rate, enabling NDIC to declare full liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of over 20 deposit money banks.
Furthermore, NDIC has embraced digital remote payment strategies, streamlining electronic funds transfers to verified depositors’ alternate bank accounts.
The introduction of the ‘Deposit Tracer’ initiative in partnership with mobile operators aims to address apathy among depositors with small balances, providing accessible avenues for claiming funds trapped in closed banks.
The initiatives underscore NDIC’s proactive stance in safeguarding depositors’ interests and ensuring financial stability in Nigeria’s banking sector.
85.51 Million Nigerian Bank Customers Face Withdrawal Freeze Over NIN, BVN Deadline
As the March 1 deadline looms, an estimated 85.51 million Nigerian bank customers are facing the possibility of frozen accounts due to their failure to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts.
Recent findings reveal the potential scale of the impending banking crisis.
Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) indicates that Nigeria had approximately 146 million active individual bank customers as of December 2022.
However, by January 26, 2024, only 60.49 million BVNs were recorded on the NIBSS portal, leaving a significant portion unlinked.
Meanwhile, about 104 million NINs had been issued by December 2023, highlighting the disparity between NIN issuance and BVN linkage.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier issued directives to banks, mandating them to restrict transactions on accounts lacking linked NINs and BVNs, with effect from March 1, 2024.
Any accounts found non-compliant risk being designated as ‘Post no Debit,’ rendering them unable to process further transactions.
Responding to the impending crisis, the Director-General of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the need for the revalidation of Front-End Partners (FEPs) to ensure the integrity of the identity database.
She underscored the importance of NIN registration and urged collaboration with various stakeholders to expedite the process.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, reiterated the significance of linking NINs to SIM cards to enhance national security.
Telecom subscribers were urged to comply with the NIN-SIM linkage directive to avoid service disruptions.
Meanwhile, financial service providers like Opay have issued reminders of the impending restrictions, urging customers to comply with the linkage requirements.
Amidst concerns, some customers contemplate transferring funds to compliant accounts to avoid potential financial setbacks.
As the deadline approaches, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to mitigate the impact of the impending banking crisis on millions of Nigerians.
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