Reps threaten MDAs violating TSA, probe ‘leaking’ Remita revenue

THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) has threatened ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) flouting the treasury single account (TSA) regulations with sanctions.

The committee said it was also investigating the alleged leakage of revenue accruing from Remita-(a payment gateway that enables the remittance of taxes to relevant government agencies) as part of measures to uphold transparency and accountability.

It has, therefore, summoned the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, and representatives from the Accountant-General’s Office to appear before the House on February 28.


READ ALSO:


The decision to probe and sanction defaulting MDAs came after a hearing presided over by Bamidele Salaam, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, on Thursday, February 14.

The session was convened to probe instances of alleged leakages and non-remittance of TSA revenue generated through Remita, originating from a motion co-sponsored by lawmakers Jeremiah Umaru and Jafaru Gambo, both members of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

The committee chairman, Salaam, said, “The investigation is not a witch-hunt targeting any company but rather a crucial step towards transparency and ensuring accountability for the federation’s revenue.”

During the hearing, Deremi Atanda, Managing Director of Remita Payment Service Limited (RPSL), clarified that Remita was not managing government revenue.

He said it was an indigenous software and payment gateway channelling collected funds directly into CBN accounts.

He emphasised that revenue losses could not occur within the Remita platform, with the technology being designed to provide real-time data on the banking statements of all the MDAs using the platform.

Atanda further debunked the allegation of a one per cent fee charged by the Federal Government and Remita for processing TSA transactions.

Referencing the CBN circulars of November 2018 and December 2020, he confirmed that the applicable fee for processing TSA payments was N150 with applicable value-added tax VAT irrespective of the amount paid to any Federal Government MDA account at the Central Bank.

He also denied unauthorised fees beyond the N150 per transaction and affirmed that Remita offered free value-added services to the Federal Government despite foreign hosting costs.

According to him, banks receive 33 per cent, CBN gets 11 per cent, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) takes 10.5 per cent, and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (oAGF) gets 2.5 per cent share.




     

     

    Similarly, Remita and other stakeholders, including card issuers, collectively share the remaining 43 per cent of funds paid through the platform.

    Billy Osawaru, representing Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde Federal Constituency of Edo State, and who initiated the motion to summon the CBN governor, AGF and Minister of Finance, decried the lack of documents at the investigative public hearing.

    He was troubled by the Central Bank’s failure to produce documents, contrasting sharply with Remita, which provided a contract signed by the CBN.

    In his decision, the House Committee on Public Accounts chairman, Salam, said it was important for the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, CBN Governor, and Accountant General of the Federation to appear before the committee on Tuesday, February 20.

    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.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement