CEM REPORT | The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has expressed displeasure at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for allegedly presenting an outdated and inaccurate record of remittances into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The committee during the hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), on Tuesday, lamented the inconsistencies in the accounts presented by the OAGF and some agencies of the federal government.
Members of the House have called for an inquiry to be launched into the issue.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), appearing before the committee, claimed it remitted N1.9 billion between January and July 2022. However, the OAGF claimed NOSDRA only remitted N2.4 million.
The Director General of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, disputed the figure presented by the OAGF and insisted that the agency has remitted up till July.
Similarly, the Nigerian Energy Commission (ECN) said it remitted N13 million but the record of the OAGF showed that the agency remitted N27 million.
The Director of Finance of ECN Cletus Nna insisted that the commission did not remit N27 million, but rather, N13 million. He also presented a treasury certificate to back his claim.
“For 2021, we have the treasury receipt to back our 100 per cent remittance to the CFR.
“Our record is N13 million. We have tender fees. We generated N12 million from tender fees. We have options, we generated N553,000 and we refunds which is N183,000.”
The Deputy Director, of Revenue and Investment in the OAGF, Ambrose Umayi, blamed TSA for the discrepancy in the records.
A member of the committee, Stanley Olajide (APC, Oyo), said the discrepancies necessitated a status inquiry on the office of the accountant general.
“With this discrepancy, a status inquiry is actually required here. We are talking about tax money here. How can we have a process where money is sitting in the CBN account and we don’t know which agency is going to be credited for it? I think it is absurd, we need to go deep to find out here.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Saidu Abdulahi (APC, Niger), who chaired the hearing, frowned at the inability of the OAGF to monitor inflow into the account of the federal government.
The committee resolved that the agencies and the OAGF should meet to reconcile the accounts. Also, the committee resolved to have an interface with the acting Accountant General, Okolieaboh Sylva.
This would not be the first time such an incident is occurring involving the OAGF.
Recall that on Monday, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) appearing before the committee claimed to have remitted N1.5 billion to the government purse. The figure was confirmed by the Fiscal and Responsibility Commission.
However, when the Chairman of the Committee, James Faleke (APC, Lagos) asked Muhammed Saleh, director of the federation account of the OAGF, to also confirm the figure, he claimed FRSC remitted only N27 million.
Faleke said the FRSC record is more updated than the OAGF because of the use of analogue system.
“Are you still using analogue in your office,” Faleke asked.
“You are using analogue because you issued them the receipts; you gave them the treasury receipt.
“The problem you even have is that your receipts are handwritten. It should be automatically generated. You as director of funds sitting down here should be with your laptop. If I ask you a question you just point, show me and tell me what it is.”