Lawan Hamidu, Abuja.
The Nigerian House of Representatives has threatened to invoke all its constitutional powers on any government’s revenue-generating agency that refused to appear before relevant committees for scrutiny.
The Chairman House Committee on Finance, Mr. James Faleke gave the warning at the continuation of the committee’s investigation into non-remittance of revenue to government’s coffers.
Mr. Faleke said the House would not fold its arm watching MDAs shortchanging the Nigerian government and its people.
“Let us use this opportunity to advise all revenue-generating agencies, as far as you have anything to do with revenue generation, you must appear before this committee. If you do not appear then you have something to hide and then we will use the appropriate constitutional means to bring you before the committee. This is a warning to all other agencies who have failed to appear,” Faleke stated.
On the 2014-2015 report of the National Examination Council NECO that appeared before the Committee on Wednesday, Mr. Faleke said the agency was owing the government of Nigeria up to the tune of 6.6 billion Naira, in the two years under review alone.
Members of the Committee who grilled the Director of Finance of the agency Mr. Jacob Elekebe on the 2014 and 2015 audited accounts of the agency noted that NECO only remitted N6 million to the federal coffers in 2014 out of N6.181 billion it received from the sale of examination forms to 841,000 students and other incomes.
Mr. Faleke said “You generated N6.181 billion and gave the federal government N6.1 million. It means you spent N6.1 billion to conduct the examinations”
The Director of Finance who represented the Executive Secretary of the agency said that its revenue generation efforts is stalled by the huge debts owed it by state governments.
He said that nineteen (19) state governments were currently owing the agency for examination fees it conducted for their students.
The Committee was investigating reports on annual revenue earnings and remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, by Ministries, Departments and Agencies in line with the Legislative Agenda of the 9th National Assembly.