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Senate summons NNPC, FIRS, Customs, Accountant General of the Federation, others

By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, summoned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,    Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and all revenue generating agencies to have a holistic picture of what was in the federation account.

It said agencies were expected to disclose to the Senate what they realised in a year, their contributions to the Federation Account, how the money was spent and if was in line with the constitution.

The Senate said the summons, which would be in line with the report of the Auditor General of the Federation, on accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year ended December, 31, 2011, would centre around the annual financial statements, submission of accounts, statement of assets and liabilities, consolidated revenue fund and statement.

The agencies are to inform the Senate about the revenue inflows into the federation account, concessional rentals in arrears, revenue budget performance of collecting agencies, non- rendition of mandatory annual report by FAAC to National Assembly, among others.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja when the Accountant General of the Federation appeared before the Committee Public Accounts, chairman of the committee, Senator Andy Uba, said the summon would enable the agencies explain to senators if what they spend was in consonance with what was budgeted and approved by the lawmakers.

According to the Senate, the NNPC will also appear to explain why it spent beyond its stipulated budget and who approved it.

The Senate, however, took a swipe at the Accountant General of the Federation for not knowing what came in from the agencies, what did not come in and what was spent.

He also said the Accountant General of the Federation failed in his responsibility to post treasury officers to the agencies as checks and balances.

At this point, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the senators that he was handicapped, against the backdrop that agencies of government always chased away treasury officers sent to them as monitoring officers.

Idris, who pleaded with the Senate to rescue them from the hands of the revenue generating agencies, said there were many agencies of government which money from budgets that were not accounted.

He lamented that the office of  Accountant General of the Federation cannot check them.

Responding, chairman of the committee, Senator Andy Uba, said:  “We will need to have the list of agencies that have rejected your staff to enable us invite them and enact laws that will empower you to carry out your job effectively.

“The committee will ensure that there is transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public funds as well as ensuring that government financial transactions are conducted according to Financial Regulations, extant Acts and the Constitution.”


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