April 16, 2024

Reps issue ultimatum over N45bn alleged unremitted funds

Lagos-Calabar coastal highway

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) to reconcile the N45 billion unremitted operating surplus recorded from 2007 to 2021.

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Bamidele Salam, gave the directive on Tuesday in Abuja, during the committee’s public hearing on leakages of government revenue.

The FRC dragged SEC before the committee for not responding to its report issued in 2022, where N45.013 computed liability for unremitted funds was recorded against the SEC.

“We have written SEC on December 20, 2022, intimating the commission of our computed liability for the period 2007–2021, and the said liability amounted to N45,013,010,229 only.

“Up till now, we have not received any response from them, so as far as we are concerned, they have accepted the liability, and that is what we have recorded against the commission,” Mr Bello Aliyu, a representative of FRC, told the committee.

He added that between the period and now, the SEC has not made any attempt to reconcile the figure as contained in the report.

Aliyu said that by law, the balance of any operating surplus should be paid into the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government in less than one month of the statutory deadline for publishing any corporation account.

Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Director General, SEC, while reacting to the allegation, however, said that the commission had reconciled its operating surplus with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

“I think if the FRC had actually done a little more work, they would have really seen from the OAGF all the efforts that we have made to reconcile the surplus figure from 2007 when the FRC came into being,” Yuguda told the committee.

In his comment, the committee chairman said the FRC was empowered by law to ensure that all agencies and government corporations listed in its enabling Act behave responsibly with regard to remittances and management of their revenues.

“I don’t know why SEC is more comfortable with the Accountant General Office, and I don’t want to insinuate anything, but I want to assure the FRC that from now on, all that will stop.

”We are going to ensure that all agencies make FRC the major body of government that should ensure compliance with the provisions of the act,” Salam said. (NAN)