Reps Ask PPPRA To Give Account Of N1.3Tn Unremitted Revenue - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Reps Ask PPPRA To Give Account Of N1.3Tn Unremitted Revenue

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The House of Representatives has begun an investigation of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency for allegedly failing to remit revenue totalling N1.343tn to the Federal Government coffers.

The House, at the plenary on Wednesday, mandated the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate the allegation and report back within 10 weeks for further legislative action.

The probe followed the adoption of a motion jointly moved by Messrs Julius Ihonvbere and Nicholas Ossai, who accused the PPPRA of “withholding N1.343tn internally generated revenue belonging to the Federal Government payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in contravention of Section 162(1) of the Constitution.”

Ihonvbere, who presented the motion, referred to the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, as disclosing this in 2018, during his (Akabueze’s) town hall meeting with Chief Executive Officers of government-owned enterprises in Abuja, where he (the BOF boss) named the PPPRA as the worst culprit.

The lawmaker further quoted Akabueze as saying that the PPPRA allegedly withheld an unremitted operating surplus of over N1.34tn.

Ihonvbere said, “The House is cognisant of the fact that the alleged N1.343tn unremitted revenue by PPPRA was collected as part of its total IGR, thereby constituting a breach of the public accounting principle and the Treasury Single Account policy of the Federal Government.

“The House is concerned that this allegation is not only grave but worthy of investigation by the House, especially in the face of the paucity of funds and the economic crunch the government is currently passing through.

“The House is also concerned that the issue of non-remittance by the PPPRA has accumulated over several years, thus undermining the Federal Government’s drive to fight corruption and ensure that there are no leakages in governance

“The House is deeply worried that the lack of transparency in public sector accounting occasioned by fiscal indiscipline by ministries, departments and agencies of government have continued to sink holes in government purse and consequently encouraging corruption, abuse of power, inefficiency, and impunity.

“The House regrets that such action by the PPPRA, if unchecked, could deepen the nation’s socio-economic challenges.”

Ihonvbere cited Section 22 (1) and (2) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 as stating that, ‘Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law governing the Corporation, each Corporation shall establish a general reserve fund and shall allocate thereto at the end of each financial year, one-fifth of its operating surplus for the year.

‘The balance of the operating surplus shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government not later than one month following the statutory deadline for publishing each Corporation’s Account.’

He pointed out that such payments are to be made every year after the preparation of audited accounts.

Punch

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