The Senate on Tuesday began a probe into the alleged misuse, under remittance, non-remittance and other fraudulent practice in the collection, accounting, remittance and expenditure of internally generated revenue by all revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.
It therefore constituted a high powered six-man ad hoc committee to investigate the leakages in revenue generation, remittance and expenditure from 2012 to 2016. Agencies to be investigated include the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, National Airspace Management Agency, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Television Authority, National Broadcasting Corporation, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and all other revenue generating agencies listed under the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
The lawmakers took the decision based on a motion moved by Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West), entitled, Urgent Need to Investigate Revenue Generating Agencies over Alleged Leakages, Non-Remittance and Misuse of Generated Revenue. The motion was supported by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah; the Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye; and Senator Ahmed Lawan.
President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, named Olamilekan as the chairman of the probe panel, while senators Andy Uba, Fatima Raji-Rasaki, John Enoh, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf and Yahaya Abdullahi would serve as members. Saraki said, As I keep on hammering, independent revenue and non-oil revenue are very important areas of our budget. This independent revenue is 37 per cent (of the total revenue).
You remember that last year, it was almost N1.5tn and I am being told now that this year, it is likely to come down to N500bn because they could not meet their target. The inability to meet the target is not that they do not have the capacity to meet the target; the problem is that there is too much abuse on these operating surpluses, where people spend up to the last naira in all. I think the best way forward is for us to address this issue by blocking these leakages. And I believe that in constituting the ad hoc committee, we would just take the best hands and still bring people from Finance and Public Accounts Committees.