CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, Thursday gave the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) a clean bill of health in terms of remittance of surplus revenue in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
He said at the investigative hearing organised by the House Committee on Finance that so far, the bank ranked among the highest revenue generating agency that has complied with the law.
This, he added, it had done with an accumulated remittance of about N114 billion, representing about 75 per cent of total revenue realised from Federal Government-owned parastatals, paid as operating surplus into the Consolidated Account as at November 2012.
According to him, apart from the CBN, the other agency that has complied with the provisions of the law is the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), while other agencies have been engaging in what he described as financial rascality.
Deputy Governor of the CBN, Suleiman Barau, who made a presentation at the event, told the committee that the bank had so far paid N50 billion in the interim and would pay an additional N30 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Account for 2012 .
He noted that the bank in performing its statutory role of formulation and implementation of monetary policy spent N240 billion out of its N400 billion revenue in mopping up liquidity in the financial system in order to keep inflation at 11 per cent.
The bank, Barau said, would remain committed to accountability and would not default in the annual remittance of its operational surpluses into government coffers in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The House last week had threatened to arrest the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, if he failed to appear before its Committee on Finance.
Sanusi was among other heads of revenue-generating agencies threatened with arrest for reportedly not honouring the summons to appear before the committee.
Others were heads of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and nine others.
CBN Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said that those who had been accusing the bank of not complying with the extant laws on the issue of revenue remittance were doing so out of ignorance.
He said the testimony of the accountant general had vindicated the CBN and shown that it had always carried out its responsibilities according to the law, adding that the bank had remitted its operating surplus even when it is not strictly a revenue generating agency.
However, a compilation of the remittance of operating surplus tendered before the House Committee on Finance showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria LNG Limited, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), National Film and Censors Board, National Examination Council (NECO), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), NESREA and National Hospital have not remitted any revenue since 2009.