CEM REPORT, FINANCE | The Senate Committee on Finance is set to launch an investigation into alleged unremitted deducted charges into the Federation Account.
The investigating parties include the Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Okolieboh Sylva, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and a service provider, REMITTA.
The investigation was sprung during the appearance of the acting Accountant General before the Senate Committee on Finance to defend the budget of his office.
Sylva came under scrutiny when he could not provide satisfactory answers to questions raised by lawmakers about the disbursements and utilisation of the billions of Naira allegedly raised through the payment platform in the last 10 years.
Sylva told the lawmakers that even though his office was in charge of the Remitta payment platform, the office did not receive any amount from the service charge which, according to him, was shared between the CBN, commercial banks, and the service provider, REMITTA.
However, the Senate Committee led by its Chairman, Senator Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Lagos West), was not satisfied with the Acting Accountant General’s explanation.
He found it “strange” that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation received nothing from the billions of money deducted even though the platform belonged to it.
On that background, the Chairman of the Senate Committee ordered a full-scale investigation to unravel the mystery surrounding the “unremitted” money.
The lawmakers further summoned the CBN Governor, Emefiele, the Office of the AGF and the service provider, REMITTA to appear before it unfailingly on November 16 for explanations.
They also ordered the Acting AGF to provide details of all the bank accounts of the office to date in the next week and threatened to step down the Office’s budget defence if it failed to come up with the accounts.
The Senate Committee noted that it decided to pay special attention to the books of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation as a result of recent allegation of corruption that characterised the tenure of the immediate past Accountant General, Ahmed Idris, who is currently facing charges of money laundering with the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC).