By Patience Danjuma
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ordered fresh investigation of its revenue generating agencies including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as it uncovered massive disparity in the remittance of internally generated revenue by some of the agencies.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this when she addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council’s meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She revealed that the council specifically directed the Ministry of Finance to look into the past revenue remittances of NIMASA and JAMB.
According to her, the disparity in the remittances of the two agencies in the past and now necessitated the decision to probe all previous heads of the two agencies, saying that other agencies with similar discrepancies in their revenue remittances will be probed.
“The highest amount that JAMB had ever remitted into the consolidated revenue fund before this management was N3 million.
“This year so far they have done N5 billion and the Minister of Education reported that they have an additional N3 billion that they are ready to remit which will take this year’s figure alone to N8 billion and they have not increased their charges, they have not increased their fees.
“So, the question the council members were asking is, where was all this money before?
“So, the directive was given that we must call the heads of all these agencies and similar ones to account (for their financial dealings), and that is the directive we have been given and that is what we intend to do and it is a similar story with other agencies.
“These are the leakages which we have now come in and we are blocking,’’ she said.
The minister assured that the ministry was on the path of resetting the economy and adjusting permanently to lower oil prices.
She announced that the Council also approved for Nigeria to rejoin the African Trade Insurance Agency.
According to the minister, this is an agency that is out to provide risk guarantee for private investors coming into Nigeria as well as exporters from Nigeria.
She said, “It will provide risk guarantees. So, instead of projects asking for sovereign guarantees, we will be able to provide that risk mitigation through the African Trade Insurance Agency. Many other countries are already members, so Nigeria will be also joining.
“This agency has an A rating internationally and is able to guarantee long term projects.
“So, what we see as a result of this is that there will be increased level of investments, particularly PPP where every often the investors want some guarantee from the government, instead the government issuing sovereign guarantee directly, this agency will step in and issue it.’’
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, also told the correspondents that he briefed the council on the second quarters NBS results on the state of the economy.
He stated that members of the council had pledged to recommit themselves to the full implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan so that Nigerians could feel the full impact of the plan.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, disclosed that he briefed FEC on flood and possibly threats of flood in the country.
According to him, there is presently no threat of flood in the country apart from the alert the nation received from Niger Republic.
“Niger Republic has put the country on alert. The level of the River in Niamey has increased considerably and the country is at alert at the moment.
“That is an indication that there will be more flood into the River Niger downstream towards Kainji, Jabba and of course by the time you come down on confluence at Lokoja, the situation will be compounding because you are already aware of the flood situation in Benue.
“The good thing is that we have an observatory in Niamey and another one in Lokoja to give us that real time, per second updates on the water level.
“So we are monitoring the situation and I briefed council on our efforts to monitor the situation which we are doing.’’
The minister added that the ministry was working in collaboration with National Emergency Management Agency as well as the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to inform and educate states along River Niger, particularly Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Benue and Rivers on the threat of flooding.
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