The National Economic Council (NEC) has said that 526 billion naira and $21 billion were underpaid to the federation account by some government revenue generating agencies between 2010 and 2015. This was made known by Ibrahim Dankwambo, governor of Gombe state, while briefing state house correspondents after the meeting of the council, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja. According to Dankwambo, the affected agencies were exposed following the presentation of the report of the technical audit of the agencies to the NEC by KPMG.
At the briefing the governor said that NEC’s ad hoc committee which he chaired with members including governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and the finance minister had recommended refund of the amounts under-paid. He also said that NEC has agreed to extend the audit to June 2017. “One of the resolutions of NEC today is to extend the audit to June 2017. So, the audit will continue for the remaining agencies”. “It is NNPC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authority, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report.
“Because it is voluminous report there are a lot of items that are there. The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by office of the Attorney General of the Federation”. According to him, the council had resolved to pursue strengthening of the NNPC governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the NNPC and other revenue generating agencies. Contributing, the governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola said the council commended the probe of federal government agencies and the audit report. He said that this has gone a long way to promote transparency and the anti-corruption efforts of the President Buhari administration.
Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, updated the Council on the just concluded Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus. He said the ERGP Focus Labs were conducted successfully and the outcomes presented to the public last Tuesday, May 15, 2018. He told council members that the labs identified 164 projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, saying that the outcomes indicated that over 500,000 jobs were likely to be created by 2020.
According to him, more labs would be conducted in due course for other sectors and recommended that states should adopt the same model and commended all stakeholders for making the labs a success. “The labs process was found to be extremely rewarding exercise and stakeholders who attended benefited’’. A statement released by the secretariat of the council indicated that the minister of finance reported to council that the balance in the excess crude account (ECA) as of May 14, stood at 1,830, 682, 945 naira.