Customs, Immigration, 13 others fail to Remit N127.1bn – Audit report

Hameed Ali

The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation has disclosed that 15 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies failed to remit N127.13bn revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund between 2017 and 2019.

The OAuGF made this known in its 2019 Annual Report on Non-Compliance, Internal Control, and Weakness Issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was submitted to the National Assembly.

The CRF was created by Section 80(1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that “all revenues or other sums of money raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other money payable under this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.”

According to the audit report, the finance circular issued on November 11, 2011, with reference number BO/RVE/12235/259/VII/201 requires all agencies to limit their utilisation of Internally Generated Revenue to not more than 75 per cent of the gross revenue while the balance of not less than 25 per cent should be remitted to the CRF.

In view of this requirement, the OAuGF observed that, “the sum of N127,129,212,622.58 (One hundred and twenty seven billion, one hundred and twenty nine million, two hundred and twelve thousand, six hundred and twenty two naira, fifty eight kobo) was the amount of revenues/internally generated revenues not remitted to relevant authorities by fifteen (15) Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.”

The agencies found in violation of the requirement are the Nigeria Customs Service headquarters, Abuja; Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin; Veterinary Council of Nigeria; Kwali Area Council, Abuja; Lagos University Teaching Hospital; National Orthopedic Hospital, Lagos; and the Federal Medical Centres in Keffi, Yenagoe and Ondo.

Others include the Nigeria Ports Authority, Council for Legal Education, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Nigerian Immigration Service, and the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Owerri.

The report said that Customs had the highest amount of unremitted revenue with N125.8bn while the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Owerri had the least amount of N5.3m.

A closer look at the report shows that the sum of N125.8bn is the aggregate of remittance discrepancies discovered in the records of the NCS in 2017.

The first discrepancy, the report noted, was discovered upon examination of the NCS’s summary of monthly revenue collection in 2017 and the NCS’ collections and remittances into the federation account 2017.

“The audit observed that in the report of NCS’s summary of monthly revenue collection in 2017, total collections for the federation account were N691.26bn

“However, the report of NCS’s collections and remittances into the federation account in 2017 showed actual remittance into the federation account with the CBN for the year under review to be N629.23bn. A comparison of these two documents revealed an under remittance of N62.24bn”, the report stated.

The report added that there was no footnote or any form of additional information attached to the two reports indicating the reasons for the discrepancy, neither was any form of communication of management’s intention for future reconciliation or remittance.

Also, the OAuGF found discrepancies in the reported revenue figures of the service in 2017, which led to the under-remittance of N63.6bn to the federation account.

On both occasions, when contacted, the NCS failed to offer any explanation for the discrepancies found in their records, the report said.

The OAuGF advised the Comptroller-General of the NCS to account for the unremitted sums, remit, and forward the evidence of remittance to the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.

Otherwise, the head of Customs is advised to “apply sanctions relating to failure to collect and account for government revenue as stated in paragraph 3112 of the Financial Regulations.”

Meanwhile, the report noted that other irregularities in the remittance of the IGR to the CRF found in the records of the remaining 14 agencies were discovered between 2018 and 2019.

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