By Tordue Salem, Abuja
He disagreed with the members over non adherence to the provision of the fiscal responsibility Act (FRA) 2007 on remittances to the consolidated revenue fund (CRF).
Garba appeared before the committee on Finance to render accounts of remittances by his outfit between 2014 to 2019 insisting that he is not obliged to adhere to the regulation issued by the Accountant General on the orders of the President since it was inconsistent with the law.
Garba who is barely two months old as Registrar General further infuriated the lawmakers when he argued that the directive of the AGF cannot supersede the provisions of the FRA.
When he was told by the Committee Chairman that the agency was owing the government about N2.8 billion, he said “On how much we are owing the government, It depends on the interpretation of the law. The laws supersede the rules. Regulations can not be inconsistent with the substantive law. To that extent this inconsistency is null and void.”
But the Committee Chairman told him that “the law is superior to regulations, regulations are also made pursuant from enabling provisions of the law. They are the vehicles for conveying the law intends to convey. So if sit and say that regulations are inconsistent with the law is beyond you.”
He responded saying “Our actions are guided by directives that took us down from the agencies responsible for enforcing these directives and that’s why we had to go to accountant general office to present our case, what I’m saying is if there’s any regulation that is made. If there are provisions, I’d like having the constitutional provision and provisions of other laws that are inconsistent with the constitution.
“What I clarified was that we were guided by what accountant general office advised us and if the fiscal responsibility act has stated that we should pay 25 percent we have been paying 25 percent on the assumption that we are only obliged to pay 25 percent our operating sums. I’m not challenging the authority of the President”.
Rep. Ossai Ossai(PDP-Delta), told the CAC boss that the provisions of the law was that they should remit 25 percent of their IGR or 80 percent of their operating surplus (which ever is higher) to the CRF,
The Chairman however read a report of the Auditor General of the Federation indicting CAC for spending above 75 percent of its projected revenue, saying this applies to Tue agency in all the years under review.