The House of Representatives Committee on Finance on Tuesday frowned at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for allegedly peddling outdated and inaccurate record of remittances into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The committtee, during the hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), in Abuja, expressed worry that there are discrepancies in the accounts presented by
the OAGF and some agencies of the federal government.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), which appeared before the committee, said it remitted N1.9 billion between January and July 2022. However, the representatives of the OAGF claimed NOSDRA only remitted N2.4 million.
The Director General of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, disputed the figure presented by the OAGF, and insisted that the agency has remitted up till July.
Similarly, the Nigerian Energy Commission (ECN) said it remitted N13 million but the record of the OAGF showed that the agency remitted N27 million.
The Director of Finance of ECN Cletus Nna, insisted that the commission did not remit N27 million, but rather, N13 million. He also presented a treasury certificate to back his claim.
“For 2021, we have the treasury receipt to back our 100 per cent remittance to the CFR.
“Our record is N13 million. We have tender fees. We generated N12 million from tender fees. We have options, we generated N553,000 and we refunds which is N183,000,,” he said.
The Deputy Director, Revenue and Investment in the OAGF, Ambrose Umayi, blamed TSA for the discrepancy in the records.
A member of the committee, Stanley Olajide (APC, Oyo), said the discrepancies necessitated a status inquiry on the office of the accountant general.
“With this discrepancy, a status inquiry is actually required here. We are talking about tax money here. How can we have a process where money is sitting in CBN account and we don’t know which agency is going to be credited for it? I think it is absurd, we need to go deep to find out here,” he said.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Saidu Abdulahi (APC, Niger), who chaired the hearing, berated the OAGF for system peddling inaccurate data.
The lawmaker frowned at the inability of the OAGF to monitor inflow into the account of the federal government.
The committee resolved that the agencies and the OAGF should meet to reconcile the accounts. Also, the committee resolved to have an interface with the acting Accountant General, Okolieaboh Sylva.
Previous inaccurate records by OAGF
This is not the first time OAGF will be presenting figures with discrepancies. On Monday, a similar incident occurred at the same committee.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) which was among the government agencies that appeared before the committee on Monday, disclosed its remittances for the period under review.
FRSC claimed to have remitted N1.5 billion to the government purse. The figure was confirmed by the Fiscal and Responsibility Commission.
However, when the Chairman of the Committee, James Faleke (APC, Lagos) asked Muhammed Saleh, director of federation account of the OAGF, to also confirm the figure, he claimed FRSC remitted only N27 million.
Mr Faleke said the FRSC record is more updated than the OAGF because of the use of analogue system.
“Are you still using analogue in your office,” Mr Faleke asked.
“You are using analogue because you issued them the receipts; you gave them the treasury receipt.
“The problem you even have is that your receipts are handwritten. It should be automatically generated. You as director of funds sitting down here should be with your laptop. If I ask you a question you just point, show me and tell me what it is,” he said.
Ex-Accountant General facing trial
PREMIUM TIMES reported in May how the AGF, Ahmed Idris, was apprehended in Kano, following his refusal to honour EFCC’s invitation concerning alleged fraud investigation.
Subsequently, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed informed Mr Idris of his suspension, in a letter dated May 18.
The suspension, Mrs Ahmed said, was in line with Public Service Rules to give room for proper and unhindered investigation.
This paper reported in June how the anti-graft agency confiscated multi-billion naira assets linked to Mr Idris’ suspected proceeds of crime.
The EFCC arraigned Mr Idris alongside three others – Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
Last month, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Maitama, Abuja granted Mr Idris and others bail.
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