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Most government agencies violating rules on spending of generated revenue – RMFAC DG

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The Director-General of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), Mohammed Shehu, said most government agencies are violating rules on remittances to the Federal account.

Shehu said that most of the agencies have been spending 100 per cent of their generated revenues, contrary to the rules on remittances.


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The rules allow government’s revenue generating agencies to spend only a certain percentage of the revenues they generate for their operations, as permitted by the Federal Ministry of Finance and other fiscal authorities.

Shehu said a violation of those rules had led to an outstanding sum of N6 trillion of unremitted funds by such agencies into government coffers.

He called on government’s enforcement agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to swing into action and recover these monies for the government.

“Part of the revenue problem we have is that there are agencies of government that generate revenue and end up spending 90-100 per cent of such revenue because the Acts backing them permit them to do so, which is in contradiction to what the constitution says,” he said.

The constitution, he noted, says that any receipt from anywhere should go to the Federation Account, adding, “but most agencies have not been complying with this for some years.”

He informed that the RMFAC had met with the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate President to find a way of making the erring agencies comply with the constitutional provisions on remittances.

According to him, the stakeholders’ engagement would seek ways of rewarding such revenue agencies with collection fees rather than allow them spend almost 100 per cent of the revenues they generate.

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Shehu, who disclosed government’s plan to review salaries, expressed concern on disparities in the salaries of the various government agencies.

He said,m such disparities fuel lobbying by some Nigerian elites to secure employment for their wards in high-paying government agencies

“The basic salary of a graduate at entry level in the Federal Ministry of Information is about N50,000. But when you go to the Central Bank of Nigeria, you see a graduate at entry level with a salary of N350,000. When you go to the Nigerian Communications Commission, you also see an entry level that is possibly higher,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria has about 17 different salary categories across several agencies. He, therefore, proposed the regularisation of the salary schemes for the civil service, saying no public official should earn more than the President.

“What I was saying that time is that no public servant should earn salaries bigger than Mr President’s, but we do have public servants that earn bigger than Mr President at the NCC, NIMASA, NPA and Central Bank, among others,” he said.

 

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Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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