Dogara: NNPC, States Face-off, Indication of Leakages

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By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has described the lingering face-off between the Ministry of Finance, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), State Governments and revenue generating organs of the federal government as an evidence of the gravity of revenue leakages in the Nigerian economy.

Dogara made the assertion during an investigative hearing organised by the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the activities   of   Ministries,   Departments,   Agencies (MDAs), and   other institutions   responsible   for   revenue   remittances   into   the Federation Account and other matters arising in such regard.

Noting that attaining economic growth and development and reviving dwindling oil fortunes cannot be achieved unless all revenue leakages are blocked, Dogara stated that: “You   may   all   recall   that   the  Federation  Account Allocation Committee meeting in July was stalemated, two or three times, due to controversies over unremitted revenue.  This led to delays in the payment of salaries by the federal and state governments and other budgetary expenditures in most federal government agencies   and establishments.  

“The   continuous   face-off   with respect to revenue remittances and figures between the Ministry of Finance and NNPC on one hand as well as State Governments and revenue generating organs of the federal government on the other hand, only show some of the many instances of unending issues of revenue leakages in our economy.

“With the dwindling oil fortunes, and the spirited efforts being made in the country to diversify our economic base, there is no gain saying the fact that closing up leakages in our system has become imperative if we must grow our economy and accelerate the   development   of   the   country   at   this   period   of   economic downturn.

 “At   this   period,   when   government   is   making   efforts   towards diversifying the economy in order to reduce the country’s over-reliance on   the   oil   sector,   it   is   disheartening   to   hear   repeated allegations of   non-remittances of huge   amounts of revenue by Agencies required generating and managing our revenue.”

Dogara hinted that the report expected from the committee would guide the House to make appropriate resolutions with a view to averting further under-remittances of revenue to the federation account, if any.