- Reps Indict NNPC, NPA, Others Over Unremitted FG Revenues
The House of Representatives has accused Federal Government’s ministries, departments and agencies of failing to follow the Treasury Single Account policy, leading to revenue leakages.
The House said it had discovered that over $900m was still “being held” by the MDAs outside the TSA.
Adopting the report by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Ascertain the Proceeds of the TSA to Enhance Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance, the House indicted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Customs Service, ministries and banks of various infractions.
All the 20 recommendations by the panel were unanimously approved by the House, including that the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria should intensify efforts to enforce full implementation and compliance with the TSA policy by all the MDAs.
While asking that the MDAs who had violated the TSA policy be sanctioned accordingly, the lawmakers ordered that the Ministry of Finance and OAGF “should be directed to publish, sanction/prosecute with immediate effect all MDAs, private persons, private organisations as well as banks, where FGN funds are hidden based on the discoveries made in the report of the consultants engaged by the OAGF and review the compliance with the TSA.”
They said applications for exemptions/waivers must follow the guidelines on TSA implementation and duly approved and signed by the President only.
The lawmakers said the Ministry of Environment’s HYPREP Account in Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc should be immediately frozen and full investigations on the status of the account should be conducted.
They said “the issues bordering on the Nigerian Ports Authority fund totalling €6,626,429.59 seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should be resolved immediately and the funds released to the appropriate owner. The EFCC should be informed in writing to immediately refund the same amount into the TSA account with the CBN.”
The NNPC was asked to make full disclosures on the nature and status of the fund held in the NNPC Pension Fund Limited domiciled in Aso Savings and Loans Plc and Unity Bank.
It was also resolved that “the Ministry of Finance, the OAGF and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission should make a definite and appropriate categorisation of the Brass LNG dividends as a federation account item or as an independent revenue of the Federal Government; that subsequent funding and expenditure of the Brass LNG project be done based on approved budgetary provisions by Appropriations Acts and the funding shall be done through the FAAC/CRF Account.
“That the revenue collection arrangement entered into by the Industrial Training Fund with Puzzle Technologies Limited be suspended and the Ministry of Finance and the OAGF should immediately conduct an investigation into the circumstance of the arrangement.
“That there should be an immediate takeover of the assets used for the asset swap for Aso Savings & Loans Plc’s debt owed various MDAs. The Federal Ministry of Finance and the OAGF should be communicated to immediately inform the affected MDAs to take advantage of the offer.”
The report presented by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Danduram Abubakar, read, “During the course of investigations with various stakeholders, overwhelming discoveries were made. It was observed (that) funds belonging to the Federal Government to the tune of billions of naira and hundreds of millions of dollars were operated outside the TSA by the MDAs in collaboration with the banks.
“After the meeting with Deposit Money Banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on August 15, 2017, the committee discovered that over $900m is still being held outside the TSA.
“While some banks fully complied with the directive of the ad hoc committee by remitting these funds into the TSA, it is worthy of note that the sum of about $995.71m was still held outside the TSA by some other banks. This sum of $995.71m includes the principal deposit and the accrued interest on the deposit. Also discovered was an amount of N1.207bn and €23,704.01.”
The House accused the NNPC of extra-budgetary spending as the committee said from the information submitted by the corporation, Brass LNG received an appropriation of $511.60m while the actual release was $461.54m during 2012-2017 fiscal years.
The panel said, “The Appropriation Acts 2012-2017 depicted $550.33m for the Brass LNG project. But it is very important to note some key observations on the table above: The total appropriation is $511.60m, according to the NNPC. The actual funding for the Brass LNG project from 2012 to 2017 stood at $461.54m. The unutilised portion is $331.72m. The NNPC stated unrealised balance with the DMBs being $708.29m.”
The committee observed that some MDAS claimed to have obtained a presidential exemption to operate certain accounts outside the TSA policy.
It said, “In the case of NNPC, the committee insisted to sight the purported exemption letter. However, to the dismay of committee, the letter was only conveying the approval of the President signed by an assistant director. As for the former, the letter could not be produced as of now, May 9, 2019.”
The lawmakers also accused NNPC of financial operations outside the TSA, saying, “The balance in this (CBN Joint Venture) account as reported by the NNPC, dated 30th October, 2017, stood at $188,900,383.49. These are the various accounts classified as accounts still not being moved to TSA by CBN, DMBs account.
“The committee discovered three accounts held by the NNPC in Aso Savings and Loans PLC and Unity Bank PLC. The accounts include two placement accounts called NNPC PFL Placement Deposit and the third account called NNPC Pension Fund account. The total balance in these accounts as of August 27, 2017, stood at N1, 079,444,746.49.
“The committee also made another startling discovery of a fund held in another DMB by the Federal Ministry of Environment; Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme called FME HYPREP Account. The balance in this account as of September, 2018, stood at N1.1bn and $4.9m domiciled in Stanbic IBTC Bank.
“However, the committee had written to the Minister of Environment for a status report on this account and also for the minister to appear before the committee to make clarifications in respect of the account in contention. To the dismay of the committee, the minister neither made any submission nor made any appearance.”
The NPA was also indicted by the panel, which said the authority’s funds were trapped by Intels.
“Further investigations revealed to the committee (that) a whopping value of $569,162,083.80 as Intels’ obligation to the NPA. On the other hand, Intels’ submitted to the ad hoc committee in 2017 an outstanding obligation to the NPA as $862.2m. The difference from the two submissions might have been after Intels have made additional payment to the NPA after the NPA submission to the committee,” the report read.
The lawmakers said the documents submitted by the OAGF and the CBN showed that between January and September 2016, the FIRS collected N32, 689,825,757.91 while Customs collected N975, 923,050.49.
The panel said, “The figures above clearly cannot include the Federal Government’s share of Federal Account Allocation Committee revenue collected by these core revenue generating agencies and may just be their independent revenue component.
“Projected FGN share of Company Income Tax alone for Fiscal 2016 is N867.46bn, which implies a projected collection of about N650.59bn as of 30th September 2016. Projected FGN share of Customs’ collections is N326.44bn, which implies a projected collection of about N244.83bn as of 30th September 2016. These figures are clearly much more than what was submitted by the CBN and OAGF.
“As a further illustration, official Customs’ revenue as of 30th September 2016, as published by the Nigeria Customs Service, shows a total collection of N647, 295,101,275.51. It is clear, therefore, to the committee that the submissions made by the executives to the committee did not include the FGN share of FAAC collections from these two revenue generating agencies.”
IMF to Review Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Amid Destruction of Businesses, Properties
IMF Says it May Review Nigeria’s Growth Amid Recent Development in the Country
Following the destruction of businesses and properties that trailed the #EndSARS protest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it may review the nation’s growth forecast in view of the new development in the country.
Abebe Selassie, the Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund, made the statement while responding to questions during a virtual IMF press conference on the economic outlook of Sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday.
According to him, the protest is difficult given that Lagos is a very important economic hub and contributes to the overall Nigeria activities.
Selassie said, “On the growth projections in Nigeria, I mean, these protests happened of course, after we had closed, after the period where the data we looked at in making the growth projections for this economic outlook.
“And much will depend really on how these protests evolve.
“Lagos of course, is a very important economic hub and contributes quite a bit of economic activity to overall Nigeria activities.
“So, if these persist and are showing significant effects on economic data, we will internalise them in due course.”
He further explained that the nation’s economy had been a difficult one in the last four years ever since oil prices plunged in 2015-16.
He said, “I think this is exactly why we have been on the record in Nigeria about how really critical it is to get all of the policy induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth.
“For the government to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential.
“So, I think that development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigor so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”
Oil Marketers Lose Millions as Hoodlums Set Petrol Tankers on Fire
Oil Tankers Burnt by Hoodlums as Marketers Lose Millions to Protest
Oil marketers lost millions of Naira to repeated attacks by hoodlums exploiting the #EndSARS protest.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Thursday said hoodlums have been attacking their trucks since they hijacked the protest earlier in the week.
The association said three petrol laden trucks were burnt again on Thursday in Warri, Delta State.
This came as the Board of Trustees of the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords Association of Nigerian urged protesters across the country to sheathe their swords as the destruction of oil assets and others had become alarming.
Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, who spoke in Abuja said three petrol tankers with petroleum products estimated at about N90 million were set on fire on Thursday.
He said, “The protesters are burning our petrol trucks as we speak right now in Warri. They are burning three trucks. The cost or value of the content in those trucks is about N90m.
“That is outside the worth of the trucks that are being burnt. This is why we asked our tanker drivers to park or temporarily halt the movement of products.”
Ukadike said the association decided to halt the movement of petroleum products on Wednesday to avert a further disaster that could arise attack of oil tankers by angry protesters.
“That advise on the temporary halt of tankers movement was vital, particularly for volatile locations where protesters are highly aggressive. So that is what is happening now in Warri, the petrol trucks of oil marketers are being burnt,” he stated on Thursday.
LCCI Says FG Loses N700bn to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days
Nigeria Loses Over N700 Billion to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days
The Federal Government lost over N700 billion to the #EndSARS protest in twelve days, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, the President, LCCI, disclosed this while reviewing the economic implications of the just ended #EndSARS protest.
Mabogunje, who appreciated the value of citizens engagement and the demand for accountability which the protest represents, lamented the negative effect on the nation’s economy.
She said, “These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.
“LCCI is however concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country.
“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.
“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated seven hundred billion naira (N700 billion) loss in the past twelve days.”
She further said the protest has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in the nation’s political governance, however added that to protect livelihoods of Nigerians, including business community, the protesters need to move to next stage of civic engagement.
“This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways. These actions have been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens. It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of the Covid 19 Pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects,” she added.
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