The Federal Government said on Thursday it would prosecute officials of 33 agencies indicted in the audit report over non-remittance of N450 billion revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.
Kemi Adeosun, the Nigeria Minister of Finance, at a press conference in Abuja,said the audit report revealed the unremitted ammount from 2010 to 2015 fiscal periods.
The minister said that the reports on some of the indicted 33 revenue-generating agencies would be sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC for prosecution while others had been made sent to their parent ministries. She said some officials of the agencies committed serious infractions.
Adeosun however, identified Nigeria Shippers Council, NSC among some agencies that returned some money. N640 million had been received from the council.
She said “The total independent revenue generated between January and October, 2016 was N272.03 billion but there is a projected increase to N811.03 billion as we recover amounts owed’’.
A recovery committee, headed by the Accountant General of the Federation had been set up and a Demand Notice had been issued to the indicted agencies for their Payment Plans.
The serious contraventions of financial regulations by the agencies included non-remittances, under-remittances of operating surpluses, operating without an approved budget, overstating of budget, spending above budgeted amount,under-reporting of revenues, failure to submit audited financial statements, payroll fraud, exaggeration of payroll costs, over-payment of staff salaries and abuse of personnel grants, etc.
“We found under-reporting of revenues. Payments were made without vouchers and payment receipts in certain cases. Cash advances were given to staff without retirements. Loans and grants were given to parent ministries and other entities without approval.
“There was failure to reconcile accounts. There were irreconcilable differences in a number of agencies. There was no fixed assets register in many agencies and we found evidence of assets being purchased and then sold to staff at significant discounts. There were purchase of fixed assets direct from IGR (Internally Generated Revenue), inadequate internal audit and weak internal controls. Many agencies have no audited Financial Statements. We found exaggerated payroll costs. Also we found excess staff salaries- salaries being paid in excess of approved salaries by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
“We found unapproved monetization of medical allowances including foreign medicals for some board members. Staff advances to staff and board members were in excess of approved limits. Non-compliance with the Public Procurement Act.”
“We have issued a circular requiring every agency to submit their estimates for the next three years, and their projected operating surplus. We have set up a review team to review these estimates before they are submitted to the National Assembly to make sure they are in line with the federal government objectives. The agencies were given seven days to comply.’’
“Agencies that do not get their budgets approved by the NASS will be restricted to payment of salaries only until their budgets are approved. We have the National Assembly’s support that if an agency does not have its budget approved; it really has no business spending. It is wrong for an agency to operate without a budget. It is public money and that means that the agency can do literally anything it wants and that is wrong. It is for those agencies who know that they do not want to be in the situation where they can only pay salaries to do the right thing, everybody knows the rule.”
“A template has been issued by the Accountant –General of the Federal on what is allowable expenditure out of the operating surplus. No more salaries in excess of the figures approved by the Wages and Salaries Commission. No more monetisation of medical and other allowances. Business Travel for only the Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers. No more donations to individual and other organizations.
“Henceforth, the following transaction must be disclosed in the notes to Financial Statements – any expense incurred on behalf of supervising ministries or other regulatory agencies, donations, sponsorships and gifts and the beneficiaries of such donations and gifts. Any assets transferred or sold to staff and board members must be disclosed.’’
Adeosun said the audit was ongoing and all agencies would be examined.
List of 33 indicted agencies for prosecution by FG
The indicted agencies are National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Industrial Training Fund, ITF; Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; National Broadcasting Commission, NBC; Nigeria Television Authority, NTA; Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS; Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN; National Teachers Institute, NTI; University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, LUTH; University College Hospital, Ibadan, UCH; National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos; National Hospital, Abuja, University of Lagos, UNILAG; University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN; Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, ABTH; National Centre for Women Development, NCWD; Nigeria Shipper’s Council, NSC; University of Benin, UNIBEN; University of Ilorin, UNILORIN; University of Ibadan, UI; and Bayero University, Kano, BUK and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, ABU.
Others are Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM; National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN; Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC; West African Examination Council, WAEC and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.