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Nigerian Lawmakers Warn Government Agencies Over Revenue accountability Threaten To Block Accounts

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Nigerian Lawmakers Warn Government Agencies Over Revenue accountability Threaten To Block Accounts

House Finance Committee has threatened account blocks for non-compliant agencies, as FRC disputes accusations of unpaid surpluses from recent years.

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has threatened to block accounts of government agencies that refused to render accounts of their revenue profile or render accurate remittance to the government.

This was as the Director of Finance and Account with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), Musa K. Jemaku, lashed out at the office of the Accountant General for claiming that they have not paid their operating surplus for three years (2019, 2020 and 2021).

A representative of the Office of the Accountant General said the FRC had not remitted its operating surplus for 2019 (N126 million), 2020 (N143 million) and 2021 (N26) million to the government coffers and that the operating surplus for 2021, had not been fully calculated because the agency was yet to submit its audited accounts for 2021.

The Vice Chairman of the committee, Saidu Abdullahi at the resumed session frowned at the refusal of some of the agencies to appear before the committee despite invitation extended to them.

Abdullahi, noted that out of eight agencies that were invited to appear before the Committee on Monday, only two (FRC and National Health Insurance Authority) honoured the committee invitation.

He stressed that while two others applied to be given another date, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, National Broadcasting Commission, National Examination Council and National Inland Waterways Authority failed to either honour the invitation or communicate them.

“We expected eight agencies to appear before the committee today, but only two agencies came, while two others wrote to request for another date and they were granted. However, four other decided to abscond.

“That was the same word I used last year that did not go down well with some of the agencies. They have decided to play truancy on an assignment that is very important.

“If members can turn out in large number for this assignment, I don’t see any reason why any agency will decide not to appear before the committee.

“Let me put on record that we hope to have these agencies appear before the committee. Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, National Broadcasting Commission, National Examination Council and National Inland Waterways Authority.

We expect them to cause appearance by tomorrow, Tuesday. If they fail to appear before this committee, we may be forced to take appropriate actions. We may write to the Office of the Accountant General to block their account”

“We will not take it lightly with any agency because this is an assignment that is very important to this country. We talk about revenue and if we cannot collect the revenue accruing to his country, I think there is a big problem.”

Juliet Akoje

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