House C’ttee Mandates NERC to Account for N56m Remittances to FIRS

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• Orders environment ministry to produce missing van

James Emejo in Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Monday mandated the Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC) to account for the sum of N56 million which it claimed to have remitted to the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) in 2013.  

The committee chaired by Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) issued the order during an investigative hearing over queries raised by the Office of the Auditor General to the Federation, (AuGF) on NERC in 2014.

He also asked officials of the Ministry of Environment to produce a pick up van allegedly declared missing since 2014.  

On NERC, the lawmakers queried why 2013 tax payments were reflected only in 2014. 

However, responding to the queries, NREC Director of Finance, Mr. Baba Ibrahim, told the lawmakers that the tax payments of 2013 were made in 2014.  

His response angered the lawmakers who made it clear to him that he was behind time as his answer was out of place. 

Hon. Kehinde Odeneye told the director: “You are behind time because as far back as 2010 you can make payment in same day and get receipted same day.

“There are too many discrepancies in your documentation and there is a need to carry out a comprehensive schedule of all the schedules of tax payments.”

Also, a member of the committee, Hon, Sunday Adepoju insisted that “all what we are saying go and bring a comprehensive schedule.”

 An attempt by the Executive Secretary of the department, Ismailia Junaidu, to offer further explanation was rebuffed by the lawmakers who advised him to be careful. 

Chinda directed the DFA to “do the schedules appropriately, if you deliberately falsify for an attempt to mislead the committee… A schedule of the remittances, payment and the amount remitted. Don’t be tempted to bring wrong information. It’s better this infarction took place. Once we are convinced we will do the right thing.”

Also, the committee directed the Ministry of Environment to produce a pick up allegedly declared missing by officials of the Ministry to be produced as evidence.  

Chinda ruled that despite stepping down the matter the pick up van must be accounted for.