Nigeria has recorded a shortfall of N2.8 trillion in independent revenue from the federal government revenue generating agencies between 2015 and 2020.
An analysis of data from the Budget Office has shown that over the years, many of these agencies have been underpaying revenue into the coffers of the Federal Government, thus making it difficult for the government to achieve its revenue target based on the annual budget approved for the agencies.
According to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, revenue generating government agencies must remit 80 percent of their operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund account.
Some of these revenue generating agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and the Nigeria Communications Commission.
Others are the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, National Examination Council, Nigeria Television Authority, Nigeria Shippers Council, National Pension Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, Standard Organization of Nigeria, among others.
Findings showed that the government set a cumulative revenue target of N5.2tn for these agencies during the four year period.
However, during the period, the aggregate actual amount generated by these agencies was just N2.4tn, resulting in a shortfall of N2.8tn.
Further analysis of the revenue figures showed that in 2015, the budgeted amount set as revenue was N489.25bn. However, only N323.37bn revenue was actually generated.
For 2016, the government was more ambitious by setting a target of N1.5tn, but the agencies generated only N398.19bn. It was learnt that the poor revenue performance caused the Federal Government to reduce the 2017 target to N807.57bn.
However, the actual collection was worse than what was earned in the previous years as only N216.66bn was generated.
For the 2018 fiscal period, the revenue target was pegged at N847.95bn while the actual amount generated was put at N454.34bn.
With only about half of its projected revenue realised in 2018, the government revised downward its independent revenue target for 2019 to N631.08bn.
Of this targeted sum, N557.34bn was generated in 2019, resulting in a shortfall of N73.74bn.
In another ambitious move, the government pegged N932.89bn as its independence revenue target for 2020, but actualised N626.27bn.
However, in a turn of events, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, recently announced that the government exceeded its prorated independence revenue target for the January to November 2021 period.
According to Ahmed, as of November 2021, revenue generating agencies remitted N1.01tn into government coffers, against a projection of N973.41bn.
She had said, ““We have now for the first time surpassed the one trillion mark collection for independent revenues. N1.104tn was collected as at November 2021 against a budget target of N973.41bn,”
“Analysts have always considered our projections unrealistic, but we have always insisted on the potentials that exist to grow FGN independent revenues. The steady improvement of our independent revenues over the years …reflects the performance of our growth initiatives.”