The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has called on federal government to prosecute officials of revenue generating agencies indicted in an audit report which indicated that N450 billion was not remitted into state coffers.
The coalition in a statement made available by its media coordinator, Wale Salami, also urged the government to ensure that the money is recovered.
CACOL maintained that it was not enough to announce to the public that N450bn was not remitted to the Federal Government from 2010 to 2015, and asked the federal government to ensure that punitive actions are taken against those who failed to stick to operational guidelines.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, disclosed on Thursday that the accounts of 33 agencies of government covering 2010 to 2015 had been audited, adding that a total sum of N450bn was recoverable from the agencies.
Some of the agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC.
Others are the Nigerian Postal Service, National Information Technology and Development Agency, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, National Pensions Commission and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
The list also include the Raw Material Research and Development Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN.
Although the minister had said those indicted by the audit report would be prosecuted, the coalition maintained that the federal government must immediately involve the EFCC, ICPC and other relevant agencies and sustain the on-going effort with a view of fishing out the culprits to face justice.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, stated that the revelation was a manifestation of the state of decadence in the public institutions and agencies.
However, the Minister of Finance said a decision had already been taken that the reports on some of the indicted agencies would be taken to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while those of the others had been made available to their respective parent ministries.
The minister listed the infractions committed by the agencies to include non-remittance and under-remittance of operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund; operating without an approved budget; overstating of budget and spending above budgeted amount; as well as under-reporting of revenues.
The audit report, according to the minister, also revealed that payments were made without invoices and payment receipts, while loans and grants were given to parent ministries without prior approval.
Adeosun said some of the agencies lacked a fixed asset register and maintain inadequate internal audit process with weak internal controls.
Also discovered were the issues of the agencies’ failure to submit audited financial statements; payroll fraud and exaggeration of payroll costs; overpayment of staff salaries and abuse of personnel grants; as well as unapproved monetisation of medical and other allowances.
Meanwhile, Adeosun also pointed out that the Ministry of Finance is not a prosecuting agency, noting, “ours is to investigate and hand over to the relevant agencies.”