The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that it will act on the outcome of the ongoing investigation of revenue remittances by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government (MDAs) being carried out by the Senate.
EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, made the disclosure on Thursday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance during the ongoing investigative hearing on revenue remittances by over 700 MDAs.
Bawa also commended the legislative panel for its investigations into the internally generated revenues of MDAs and the payment of 1% Stamp Duty by contractors on all contracts awarded by MDAs between 2014 to 2020.
“After observing the proceedings and the process of investigation of the Committee, I am happy with what is happening here. It is a good development that the committee is working towards blocking revenue leakages. At this point in the nation’s history, it is not much about generating revenue as much as blocking leakages of revenue generated and still being generated by all these agencies of government,” he stated.
Bawa said he would have been happy to go away with one of the heads of the agencies immediately from the revelations that the committee unearthed in the course of observing the documents presented by the agency, stressing that he would be ready to partner with the committee as the process goes on and hopefully get the report of the committee for further action.
As part of setting example for blockage of leakages, the EFCC boss stated that since his assumption of office, he has created four new departments in EFCC, two of which, namely the Procurement Department and the Internal Audit, are to ensure that due process is followed and there are no audit queries.
He added that other MDAs can copy the template of EFCC in order to do same.
Speaking earlier, the committee’s chairman Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), had enunciated that the focus of the investigation was informed by the need to curb recurrent federal budget deficits and the resort to borrowing while agencies of government earn and often frivolously spend generated revenues of government.
Adeola added that, so far the committee had made progress with many agencies paying back unremitted revenues in the tens of millions with treasury receipts to show as evidence.
“It is clear that we can no longer continue to run government as business as usual with some agencies not audited for over years, agencies collecting funds for expenditures during budget process without declaring revenue they are bringing to the table. The practice is for them to spend generated government revenues illegally while still collecting funds from the government that had to resorts to borrowing to fund them,” Senator Adeola stated.
Meanwhile, in the course of the investigative hearing, the Federal College of Education, Okene in Kogi State was ordered to pay back to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federation the total sum of N242million it generated and spent contrary to the 1999 Constitution and the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 within five months.
Also, following the formation of a tripartite committee of the Accountant General Office, the Fiscal Responsibility Commision (FRC) and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) by the Committee, the account of NERC was reconciled with N888million outstanding to be paid to CRF by the commission.
Other agencies that appeared before the Senate panel on include Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Medical Centre, Yenegoa, Nigeria Film Corporation, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar and the NNPC, among others with some of the MDAs have been cleared while others were requested to provide additional documents.