FG Generated N34.311tn Revenue via REMITA Platform in Seven Years

•Committee summons Edun, Cardoso, AGF over agreement signed with solution provider

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The sum of N34.311 trillion revenue was generated through the REMITA platform into the federation account between 2015 and 2022, Managing Director/CEO of REMITA, Mr. ‘Deremi Atanda has disclosed.

Atanda, said this known during the investigative hearing on, “alleged revenue leakages through REMITA platform and non-compliance substantively with standard operating procedure and other allied service agreement,” held by the House Committee on Public Accounts, which was chaired by Hon. Bamidele Salam.

The Committee resolved to invite the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Yemi Cardoso, to appear in person to give account of the roles played by each of the institutions in the contract agreement and ascertain the veracity of the agreement signed between Central Bank and Systemspec/REMITA on the revenue collection.

According to the documents presented to the Committee, instead of N343.109 billion fee income due at contracted rate of one percent flat which the stakeholders are entitled to (against the conventional five to seven percent fee) according to the agreement signed in 2015, the sum of N23.922 billion actual fee income was applied.

According to the 2018 circular on the chargeable fees guidelines on e-collection, the sharing formula showed that all the stakeholders were to share the sum of N150 per transaction: banks – 33 per cent, CBN – 11 per cent, NIBBS – 10.5 per cent, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF) –  2.5 per cent, while REMITA and other stakeholders including card issuers are entitled to get 43 per cent of the chargeable fees.

While correcting the impression that REMITA imposed additional fee apart from the approved N150 which represents 10 cents at current exchange rate on the revenue generating MDAs, Atanda disclosed that the REMITA payment gateway platform provides additional technology services to the Federation at no cost, despite pay in foreign exchange for hosting the platform on cloud based platform.

He further said the sum of N1.5 trillion was remitted through the platform in 2015; N2.8 trillion in 2016; N3.7 trillion in 2017; N4.6 trillion in 2018; N4.6 trillion in 2019; N4.2 trillion in 2020 being the year ravaged by COVID; N6 trillion in 2021 while N6.8 trillion was realised in the 2022 fiscal year, respectively.

Atanda, while confirming that the CBN engaged REMITA to provide the service as part of efforts geared towards shoring up revenue accrued to Federation, he added that relevant agreements were signed and standard operating procedures were followed.

“The one percent agreement fee payable to all the stakeholders involved in the contract agreement was reached in 2020 following earlier investigative hearing conducted where CBN, Banks, REMITA and other staff involved were asked to refund the chargeable fees collected from the services provided since inception,” he explained.

Responding to question bothering on the possible area of leakages, Atanda urged the parliament to ensure that all dollar related revenue should be captured into the revenue collection gateway, as focus has been strictly only the naira revenue over the past eight to nine years.

Atanda dismissed allegation that REMITA had some unaccounted revenue, adding that there was no N29 billion accrued from National Housing Fund (NHF) trapped on Remita payment platform as alleged by one of the lawmakers.

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