By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives on Monday said revenue generating agencies of the federal government must remit the correct amount of their internally generated revenues (IGR) which is 25 per cent as stipulated by extant laws into the federation account.
The Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, stated this while addressing agencies at the resumed budget defence session in Abuja.
Sununu, while reiterating the task given by President Muhammadu Buhari that the legislature must assist the Executive in compelling MDAs to remit their IGR, said that it is only through such remittances that government can effectively finance the 2021 budget.
He said: “Let’s also try to emphasize that revenues generated by MDAs are supposed to be remitted to the federal government in their right percentage. With that the amount of revenue needed to finance the budget every year will be drastically reduced.
“That is if all revenue generating MDAs remit what’s due to government in all honesty and truth — and as and when due. So this committee will do its due diligence in looking at the revenues of agencies under our purview and ensure that the right amount is remitted before consideration for their 2021 budget proposals.”
Meanwhile, the committee during the defence rejected budget proposals from four different agencies after discovering that they could not provide records of 25 per cent remittance of their IGR.
The agencies include Medical Science Laboratory Council of Nigeria, Radiographers Registration Council of Nigeria, the Nigeria Pharmaceutical Research Institute (NIPRI) and Community Health Practitioners Registration Board.
In his presentation, the Registrar of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Tosan Erhabor, said the agency generated the sum of N136 million this year, but was unable to remit the 25 per cent due to the Covid-19 pandemic which led to putting on hold their inspection and accreditation of training courses from where more money comes in.
He however expressed optimism that something tangible could still be done before the end of the year.
But the committee chairman said that the agency though hampered by Covid-19 should still have generated more revenue beyond what it got.
He said: “Apart from inspection and accreditation, weren’t there any other services to private organisations that generated funds? Because you are an agency that’s really short of N20 million remittance to the federal government.”
Sununu ruled that the registrar liaise with the deputy chairman on Friday to provide evidence of remittances to the federal government.