Post Views: 96 • Recommends Regular Audits Of Revenue Agencies The Nigeria’s National Economic Council (NEC), on Thursday resolved to strengthen its a...
• Recommends Regular Audits Of Revenue Agencies
The Nigeria’s National Economic Council (NEC), on Thursday resolved to strengthen its ad-hoc committee on the audit of remittances by revenue generating agencies into the Federation Accounts by including a lawyer and an accountant.
Receiving the final report of the forensic audit of 18 agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), conducted by KPMG Professional Services, the NEC resolved that the expanded committee is to study the report and recommendations, and then report back at its next sitting for possible adoption.
The report covered period between January 2010 and June, 2015.
According to a summary of the proceedings of the meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and attended by governors of the 36 states and ministers, among others, prepared by ‘Laolu Akande, spokesman to the Vice President, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Minister of State, Petroleum Resources would join the expanding Committee to also take a look at the report for FG’s review.”
Akande also listed as key recommendations at the meeting to include the fact that besides cases of under-remittance, there were a few over remittances, and in some cases both by identified agencies.
There were however, also late remittances into the various accounts, following which KPMG urged the council to decide on repayment plans for all concerned agencies, besides “stepping up oversight function on the relevant agencies to ensure remittance as and at when due.”
It also recommended the proper and regular auditing of the accounts of the RGAs and those of the FG; and annual review of the agencies, which also included the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), CBN, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the NNPC; among others.
Also briefing the council, on the impact of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP), the Special Adviser to the President on the SIP, put total direct beneficiaries at 7,812,201; and 1.5m secondary beneficiaries that are mostly farmers and cooks.
He put total actual spending between 2016 and 2017 at 15.58% of the initial budget, lamenting general challenges facing the smooth delivery of the programme such as corrupt practices in the States.
Specifically, he listed the challenges as short-changing, racketeering and harassment of beneficiaries, exploitation of the vulnerable due to poor levels of literacy, as well as insufficient awareness, publicity and logistics for monitoring that yet to be secured.
He assured that the programme is “collaborating with various agencies within and outside government to overcome the challenges in the areas of; Monitoring and Security, Sensitization, Communication.”
Support and intervention from State Governments, he added, is also being explored to overcome the challenges, just as he urged state governments set in motion, Micro-Credit scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
He also sought the support of states in fraud detection and prevention by local officials, besides supporting the GEEP loan programme mobilization and facilitating the generation of BVN and the opening of accounts.
Collaboration, he continues is also needed in the area of loan recovery from beneficiaries; Home Grown School Feeding Programme; States to fast-track commencement of programme by signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Such assistance is also needed in the area of re-training and re-screening cooks; strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation; National Social Safety Net; in addition for the need to demonstrate commitment for the programme to kick off; among others.