October 1, 2022

Maritime Today Online

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Senate directs NPA, BPE, others to refund N300bn to federation account

Senate passes bill to re-enact Customs Act

…. Faults NNPC over non-remittance of N3.87trn crude oil proceeds in 2015

The Senate on Wednesday directed 59 agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to refund over N300 billion allegedly misappropriated to the federation account.

The Senate took the decision after considering the report of its Committee on Public Accounts on the annual report of the Auditor- General for the Federation on the accounts of the Federation for the year ended 31st December 2015 (  (Part 11 &1),

Leading among erring agencies are Nigerian Port Authority (NPA)- N68.87bn; Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE)- N8.84bn; National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – N4.53bn; Ministry of Niger Delta- N1.77bn; Federal Mortgage Bank – N369 million; Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)- N995 million; Ministry of Petroleum Resources – N821.9 million; National Agency for Drugs Administration and Controls (NAFDAC)- N1.88bn.

With the passage of the report, this will be the first time that the audited report of Auditor General of the Federation will indict government agencies since 1999.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, in his presentation, disclosed that 114 federal agencies out of the over 600 in the country, were queried in the 2015 audit report.

He said 59 out of the figure, had their queries sustained after the probe.

In the course of the investigation, Urhoghide said his panel observed across board, the incessant violation of extant rules by MDAs.

Ruling on the issue, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the agencies would be given 60 days to refund the monies failure which the National Assembly could involve the antigraft agencies.

Lawan said, “My advice will be, let us monitor the implementation. After the 60 days of grace, then we can take the next appropriate action

” If we go to the EFCC, it is okay but at this point, I think we should give them the opportunity. What is important is to ensure that we send these resolutions to the appropriate quarters for immediate implementation.”

After exhaustive debate on the report, the Senate considered the report clause by clause and mandated the indicted agencies to comply with Senate resolution within 60 days.

The NHIS, according to the AugF, invested N122,893,876,023 in fixed deposit account without the approval of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

The report noted that the interest yield amounting to N3,716,805, 388.00 realised by the agency was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The Senate panel in its recommendations, upheld the AugF report that the agency should refund N3,716,805, 388.00 to the CRF within 60 days.

The Senate also faulted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for under remitting the sum of N3.87trillion revenue from domestic crude oil sales to the Federation Account for the period of January to December, 2015.

The upper chamber called on the Corporation to desist from further deduction at source as this contravenes Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

It also mandated the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee or any other approving authority to, as a matter of urgency, approve the agreed percentage which should be allocated to NNPC monthly as the operational cost to ensure that their operations are not adversely affected.