Senate Committee Chairman on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan has scored Nigeria’s revenue generating agencies very low in the area of mobilizing funds for government.
He said there have been worrisome dwindling revenue profiles of generating agencies of government despite the introduction of Treasury Single Account by the Federal Government.
This, he noted, would unravel the causes of recurring budget deficits that have made the country to rely on borrowing to fund the federal budget.
Speaking at a press conference after Wednesday’s plenary, the lawmaker expressed concern that the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) hasn’t helped to improve internally generated revenue, adding that in the last six years, when Buhari administration came on board, there wasn’t any account reconciliation done by revenue generating agencies of the government.
The TSA, he said, was supposed to block revenue leakages, but it didn’t, according to him.
He said the Accountant General of Federation has been invited to give a detailed report of remittances, while foreign auditors would also be engaged to handle an independent investigation that would be set up.
He said: “I want you to put it on record that since the Treasury Single Account was set up, there has not been any reconciliation done in this regard.
“And I believe if we are going to be crucifying, bringing the revenue generating agencies to book concerning how much was generated, how much was expended, it is only good that the agency that receives the money, which is the Central Bank of Nigeria on behalf of these revenue generation agencies, the Accountant General of the federation who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that this revenue goes into the bank, are quizzed.
“It is only fair for us to ask for a proper reconciliation of that account through an independent auditor, not an auditor appointed by the federal government, but a consultant of repute to give us a true position of the treasury single account from inception till date.
“I think if we have that, it will serve as a key guidance for us to look into the activities of all revenue generating agencies because the agencies might come to us and claim that they have put about N5 billion into the account and at the end of the day, how was this account expended or the approvals that were given, who gave the approvals?
“How much is actually left in that particular account as at today.
“To start with, we are going to invite the Accountant General of the federation to appear before the Committee on Finance to ask him for the reconciliation of the account and audit and ask him to get back to us in a month.
“And joining us in this investigation include the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General.”
Asked if there would be the political will to carry out the investigation to the letter and why the preference for International auditors, he said it was the wish of President Buhari to increase revenue generation, just as his body language had shown that he was not happy with them.
“Why have we chosen to engage a separate independent body that is not part and parcel of the day to day activities of the government? It is for us to have an independent investigation that we can actually rely upon.
“If you were there when the President assented to the current budget, his comment about revenue generating agencies, you will agree with me that he is in support of what we are going to do.
“If he could make that comment, it shows that he is in support, because I know from his heart, he is not happy with the activities of revenue generating agencies,” he added.