The House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that it would recover the sum of N23.695bn, being unremitted revenue from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) directly from the source over the next three years.
Chairman, Joint Committee of the House on Finance, Appropriation, National Planning, and Economic Development and Aids, Loans and Debts Management, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke disclosed this during the Day-2 of the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and investigative hearing into alleged under-remittance by federally funded agencies.
Faleke said, “The amount that will be deducted from your account directly, without recourse to you in 2021 is N7.77bn. Write it down. In 2022, the amount that will be deducted from your account is N7.925bn. In 2023, by the grace of God, God spearing our lives, the amount that will be deducted from your account is N8bn.”
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had during the commencement of the interactive session on the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper on Thursday, declared that under-remittances to government coffers by revenue generating agencies was partly responsible for borrowings by the government to finance the budget.
The speaker, however, warmed revenue the agencies to desist from under remitting revenue generated to the federation account.
“Our country is currently facing a fiscal crisis, compounded by the intense disruption that has been wrought on our economic performance and financial projections by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not the only ones,” Gbajabiamila said.
While appearing before the Joint Committee yesterday, the director, Budget Planning, Research, and Statistics at the CAC, Dr. Gado Shehu, explained that the CAC had an approved revenue budget of N15.770bn in 2019 while the budgetary performance was N12,675bn. He also said the commission remitted N100m.
Shehu said the CAC in 2018 had a budget of N16.621bn but realised N11bn yet did not remit revenue.
“The approved revenue budget for 2020 is N18bn, while the CAC had by June realised N8.3bn. By June, because the Federal Government has started direct deduction from our revenue, they have deducted N69m. 25 per cent of whatever drops into our account is deducted,” he said.
Faleke, however, expressed surprise on how CAC remitted only N100m after getting over N12bn saying: “Even that N100m that you remitted, it was the committee that forced you to remit it, I remember.”
He chairman also observed that N69million is less than 10 per cent of N8.3bn, which is even below the 25 per cent expected remittance.
While speaking on the proposal by the CAC for 2021, said the total projected revenue is N19.425bn.
Also at the hearing, the chairman/CEO of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, explained that the Commission got the sums of N6.47 billion in 2018, N8 billion in 2019, and N3.5 billion in 2020. The surplus on the budget was remitted, he said.
Worried by the poor performance of NERC to the extant financial regulations, the lawmakers unanimously resolved to conduct ab status of inquiry into the finances of the commission in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which empowers the National Assembly to expose corruption.
Apparently dissatisfied with the presentations of most of the agencies that appeared before it, the joint committee resolved to probe the activities of some agencies.
The chairman, Faleke noted that there was a need to amend the Finance Act to reflect current realities.
He said: “We expect new amendments, a new Finance Act is coming. We’re saying agencies should limit their expenditure to 60 to 70 per cent of their income depending on their income.
“Lead agencies should limit theirs to 60 per cent, while the small agencies should limit theirs to 70 per cent.”