Banks fail to remit N74.1bn govt revenues
Ongoing probe of banks that are collecting revenues for the government has shown that the lenders failed to remit N74.1bn into the Federation Account between July 2012 and December 2015.
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, which announced this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, said a total of N57.7bn had so far been recovered.
The commission has also issued demand notices to the banks for another N16.4bn that has yet to be recovered from the banks appointed to collect revenues on behalf of government agencies that generate revenues.
The banks were appointed to collect revenues on behalf of Federal Inland Revenue Services, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The Acting Chairman, RMAFC, Umar Gana, disclosed this at the headquarters of the commission, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Head of Public Relations, Ibrahim Mohammed.
Gana said while N48.7bn of the recovered money had been paid into the Federation Account, N9.07bn relating to withholding tax on dividend only had been released to the benefitting states Boards of Internal Revenue.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the RMAFC had in 2016 selected 111 auditors and auditing firms out of more than 150 that applied to probe the banks operating in the country for non-remittance of taxes and duties collected on behalf of the Federal Government.
The probe of the banks covered collections from July 2012 to December 2015.
The probe was sequel to a similar exercise where the banks had been investigated for revenues collected between January 2008 and June 2012. The exercise had revealed that the banks failed to remit N12bn that they collected in taxes and duties on behalf of the revenue collecting agencies.
Following the success of the first exercise, the National Economic Council at its meeting on April 21, 2016 approved that the RMAFC should appoint a good number of consultants to ensure wide coverage in the verification of the activities of the banks regarding revenue collection.
It was gathered that the first exercise covered only selected branches of the banks and would have otherwise recovered more funds if it was extended to all the branches.
Subsequently, the RMAFC advertised for the consultancy job in the July 24 edition of the Federal Tenders Journal and more than 150 applied from which 111 were selected.
Gana stated that in the course of the exercise, the commission had to seek the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission following the uncooperative attitude earlier exhibited by some revenue generating agencies and the collecting banks.
He reiterated the commission’s resolve to follow up on the outstanding balance of N16.4bn in liabilities established, whose demand notices were issued to banks but had yet to be defrayed.