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Reps summon NRC MD over N12.7bn shortfall in remittances

The House of Representatives, yesterday, invited the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/ CEO) of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr Fidet Okhiria, over the N12.7 billion shortfall in unremitted revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF} of the Federal Government. He is to appear before the House Committee on Finance on Monday, September 12. Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon Abdullahi Seidu, disclosed this at the ongoing Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF& FSP) interactive session with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government.

He said the committee observed that the NRC generated N14 billion as internally generated revenue (IGR), but remitted only N1.3 billion to the CRF in 2021. Deputy Chairman of the House Committee, Hon Abdullahi Seidu, the decision to invite the MD was taken after a presentation by the agency’s director of finance, Mrs Agboola Makinde. Makinde had disclosed that out of the N14 billion revenue generated by the NRC in 2021 only N1.3 billion was paid into the coffers of the federation. The deputy chairman warned: “You cannot sit in the comfort of your office and spend government funds that you generated as revenue. It is against the laws of the land.

“There should be an urgent reconciliation of account of the NRC, Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant- General (OAGF).” But the director who earlier had excused the MD at the hearing said that the agency’s actual revenue generation in the year 2021 was N6.2 billion; the N14 billion was not only from the IGR revenue. Asked if the agency gets funded by the government in terms of personnel and overhead budgets, she said they get funded for only personnel cost and overhead, “and so is not fully funded.” Notwithstanding, the chairman and other committee members insisted that the remittances of N1.3 billion out of the lump sum of N14 billion is infinitesimal and a breach of the law.

In a related development, the deputy chairman commended the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, for what he described as an exceptional performance in revenue drive and remittances by his agency. When he appeared before the committee, Jime presented N23.1 billion as approved revenue, adding that the council remitted N557 million to the CRF in the 2021 financial year.

 

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