The Senate on Wednesday accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other government-owned enterprises of worsening the current dwindling revenues in the country by defaulting in remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Senator Solomon Adeola, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, made the claim on Wednesday during a public hearing on his panel’s 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Big spenders, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, have failed to transfer their operational surplus to the consolidated revenue fund account, according to Adeola.
He said, “In budgeting, some revenue generating agencies spend their revenue hiding under the disguise that what accrued to them is not enough for them to carry out their functions.
“From the preliminary investigation carried out by this committee, our findings are not palatable at all. A lot of heads of agencies have taken over the agencies as their personal property.
They have decided to embark on a spending spree with nobody challenging them.
“Out of the 60 Government Owned Enterprises, I can conveniently say that agencies like the NNPC, I don’t know when last they contributed from their excess revenue into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, except recently when they declared profit.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, out of an average budget of about N2.3tn a year, it is expected that at the end of every financial year, whatever accrues to you as excess revenue, a certain portion of it must be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. As we speak, within the last five to six years, CBN has not contributed anything.”
CBN disagrees with Senate Committee’s claim
Dr. Kingsley Obiora, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in charge of Economic Policy, who represented Godwin Emefiele at the session, disagreed with the Senate Committee chairman’s allegation.
Obiora said, “I just want to, with due respect and deep reverence, categorically say that the allegation that the CBN has not remitted surpluses in any year, let alone the last five years, is 100 per cent not correct.
We have in the last five years remitted our surpluses in accordance with the law.
“As responsible government agency, we follow the Fiscal Responsibility Act and we do remit 80 per cent of our surpluses every year.”
The committee’s chairman however ordered the CBN to present documentation evidence of its remittances in the previous five years by Friday.
He also demanded that the central bank release its audited financial statements for the previous five years, as well as its monetary policy position paper.
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