The Senate Committee on Finance has sent out invitations to heads of 60 government-owned firms to start appearing before it from this week.
They are to reportedly explain their failure to remit various funds running into about N2tn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund account of the Federal Government.
According to reports, some of the 60 government-owned firms affected are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration Agency (NMSAA).
They also included the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FPA), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB)and the National Pension Commission (NPC).
Others are the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) , among Others.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate panel, Solomon Adeola, said the probe was important so that the government would raise enough money to fund the budget.
According to him, “We are probing the remittances of the one per cent stamp duties by the MDAs to the Federal Inland Revenue Service. To a large extent, there are some mind boggling revelations that we have seen and are quite disturbing.”
Adeola stated that, “Those not funded in accordance to the Fiscal Responsibility Act should remit 80 percent of their operational surplus. The most disturbing issue we found out was that those fully funded still spend the revenue they generated and still collect allocation from the budget including recurrent, personnel and capital.”
“Both the office of the Accountant General and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission have told us that what some of these agencies are doing, constitutes high level of illegality; because that amounts to diversion of government funds. We demanded the audited accounts of the agencies in the last five years which we are reviewing. Some of the revelations there too are terrible,” he added.