The Senate has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CNB) of worsening the current dwindling revenues in the country by defaulting in remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The Senate, through it Chairman, on Finance Committee made the claim during a public hearing on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
According to Adeola Olamilekan, big organisations such as CBN have failed to transfer their operational surplus to the consolidated revenue fund account for about five years.
“In budgeting, some revenue generating agencies spend their revenue hiding under the disguise that what accrued to them is not enough for them to carry out their functions.
“From the preliminary investigation carried out by this committee, our findings are not palatable at all. A lot of heads of agencies have taken over the agencies as their personal property.
“They have decided to embark on a spending spree with nobody challenging them, “ Adeola had said.
Senator Adeola in making the allegation said: “ Nigeria wouldn’t have been having problem of inadequate revenue to fund its annual budget if revenue generating agencies, were remitting 80% of their operational surpluses into the CRF as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
“Specifically, the Central Bank of Nigeria which has yearly budget of N2.3trillion, has not remitted any revenue from its operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund within the last five years “
But the CBN took an exception to the Senate’s claim,. According to the CBN, it is untrue the organization did not remitted 80% of operational surpluses into the CRF.
According to the CBN, contrary to what the Senate has been saying, it has been remitting operational surpluses in the last five years.
The Deputy Governor of CBN in charge of Economic Policy, Dr Kingsley Obiora debunked the allegation by declaring that 80% of the Apex bank’s operational surpluses, have always been remitted to the CRF on a yearly basis.
The remittance he explained, is done in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and not that of the CBN Act which stipulates 75% remittance.
“With all due respect to the Senate and in particular , this committee , the CBN as a law abiding government agency , had not at anytime, defaulted in the remittance of its operational surpluses .
“We do this on yearly basis as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act despite the fact that the CBN Act , requires us , to remit 75% only “, he said.
While many Nigerians are asking for prudence and due diligence in running the country, it is evident that both the Senate and the CBN seem not to be working in the interest of Nigerians.
The Senate often times raise issues they won’t investigate to the end. This must stop if the country should move forward.