JUST when the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) recently decried the significant decline in revenue shared by the three tiers of government, the House of Representatives has uncovered $15 billion allegedly not remitted as revenue into the Federation Account.
During the last disbursement from the Federation Account, the Accountant-General, Mr Ahmed Idris, who represented the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun told journalists in Abuja that FACC shared N415.7 billion, which he said is N52.1 billion less than what the three tiers of government shared as revenue for March.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives uncovered $15 billion allegedly not remitted as revenue into the Federation Account.
Members of the Abdulrazak Namdas-led ad hoc committee probing into the alleged theft of $17 billion from undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2011 -2014 claimed that they arrived at the conclusion after perusing two separate documents submitted by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the NNPC, Mr Rabiu Bello admitted before the lawmakers that there were discrepancies in the documents before the committee.
According to him, earnings from crude oil sales were duly lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He explained that financial deals were audited and accounted for by various organs including the office of the auditor-general of the federation.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by one of his officials, Mr. Jack Ukitetu explained that the accountant- general of the federation approves and determines the disbursement of monies accruing into the Excess Crude Account.
Ukitetu said that before 2006, the CBN collected the money on behalf of government’s agencies and remitted same into the Federal Reserve Account in New York and charged 0.25 per cent. But after 2006, the oil companies remitted directly what was due to the government.
According to him, the CBN collects 0.25 per cent via forex allocation and does not charge one kobo as its deductions are made from central sales.
Namdas, who threatened that the committee would not hesitate to submit its report to the House without the input of major Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which failed to honour the invitation of the committee, directed the CBN and NNPC to submit the audited report of the oil and gas account showing the remitted funds into the Federation Account between 2011 and 2014.
The NNPC was also directed to submit the bill of laden relating to the 974,721 barrels of crude oil lifted on October 20, 2011; 961,963 barrels lifted on October 10, 2011; 974,935 barrels lifted on July 9, 2011 as well as 974,953 lifted on July 18, 2011, but were not declared.
The lawmakers also requested a report of the reconciliation conducted by NNPC and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as well as the list of oil off-takers for 2013 and 2014 and details of the companies that paid oil tax between 2011 and 2014. The NNPC will also provide the Letter of Credits (LCs) of all the monies paid into the Federation Account within the period under review.
The committee also tasked the heads of FIRS and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for not doing enough in the supervision of crude oil exports while it faulted both departments for depending so much on declarations by the NNPC.
The lawmakers, who questioned the deputy director Tax Policy Department of the FIRS, Gabriel Ogunjemilusi, noted with concern that FIRS was powerless regarding assessing NNPC claims on crude oil exports.