House Summons Customs over Non-redition of Audit Accounts

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* Report indicts NNPC, CBN, others of under-remittance

By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts Thursday summoned the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) over non-redition of the audited financial accounts to the office of the Audit General of the Federation between 2017 and 2019 financial years.

This was as a report from forensic auditors indicted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some other government revenue-generating agencies for under-remittance to the Federation Account between January 2010 and June 2015.

The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Wole Oke, gave the ruling while grilling the NCS led by its Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on the audit queries raised against the agency by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

Ali had told the lawmakers that the reports were delayed by the external auditor engaged by the agency, adding that the author had promised to make the reports available soon, which the committee turned down, requesting a specific timeframe the reports would be ready.

In his ruling, Oke said that the auditor of customs should appear before the committee to brief it on why audited accounts of the agency were being delayed for three years.

Oke added that this became necessary so as to give customs the chance of fair hearing.

Similarly, a report laid before the committee which was made available to newsmen also showed that some agencies under-remitted revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund amounting to about N49.160 billion within the same period.

The report listed possible under remittances or over remittance against the NNPC as N557,852,222,257.28 and $9,048,920,931.38, while the figure listed against the CBN stood at N39,313,909.42 and $29,261,227.46.

It also listed N6,995,100,228.35 against the NCS, N292,287,246.65 against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), $570,632,772.46 against the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and $4,138,465,740.01 against the federal government.

It however explained that NNPC has an outstanding claim of N797,710,684,354 against the federation prior to 1 January 2010, adding that this period does not relate to the period in view.