32 MDAs Failed To Account For N1.2trn

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission has said over 30 ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government are withholding about N1.2trn.

The commission said this is according to audit reports of some MDAs and unaudited accounts of others.

The FRC also said MDAs have remitted operating surpluses of about N2.15tn since inception of the commission in 2007.

The Executive Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mr Victor Muruako, stated this at a press conference held at the National Assembly in Abuja listed 32 MDAs that have yet to present their audit reports

The affected MDAs are Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria, Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation, Chad Basin National Park, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Gashaka Gumti National Park, Gurara Water Management Authority, Hadejia-Jamaare River Basin Development  . Authority, Integrated Water Resources Development Agency and Kainji Lake National Park.

Others are National Broadcasting Commission, National Business and Technical Examination Board, National Council of Arts and Culture, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Food Reserve Agency, National Lottery Trust Fund, National Space Research and Development Agency, National Sports Commission, National Steel Development Fund (now Solid Minerals Devt. Fund); National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos; National Troupe, Iganmu, Lagos; and Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service.

Also on the list are Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria.

Muruako noted that generation of independent revenue through the payment of operating surplus is one aspect of the mandate of the commission, which he said had “added great value to governance”.

He said, “Government-owned Enterprises and corporations are, by the Act, committed to remit 80 per cent of their operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government. The payment of operating surplus into the CRF is borne out of the need for government to generate funds in order to meet revenue requirements in its annual budget execution.

“It is also important that corporations make returns on government’s investment, more so because the corporations neither pay income taxes nor dividends. Through the persistent and continuous engagement of MDAs by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and – especially with the support of the National Assembly – the Federal Government’s share of operating surplus from these corporations has continued to increase over the years.

“From our records, the total figure paid as operating surplus since the establishment of the FRC to date is beyond N2.15tn which, by the way, could not have been possible without the Act and the commission, given that there would have been no law, rule, regulation or institution requiring such returns.

“Sadly, many MDAs still persist in defaulting and practically keeping money away from the federal government’s reach for funding its budgets. Our records indicate that over N1.2tn is still in the hands of defaulting MDAs. These figures are confirmed from our analysis of the annual audited financial reports submitted to our commission by the concerned agencies. Much more is yet out there in the hands of MDAs that either have failed to dutifully audit their accounts or that have done so but choose not to forward copies of their audited financial reports to the commission as required by law.”

The FRC boss also stated that though fiscal federalism exempts much of the expenditures and finances of states and local governments from control of the Federal Government, the Act requires the commission to encourage and support subnational governments with technical assistance towards enacting fiscal responsibility laws and by-laws that are similar to FRA, 2007.

Kehinde Ogunyale

Reporting on the data-driven economy, and investigations.

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