The 2017 financial year may begin on a shaky note for the ministry of finance and some government agencies and parastatals.
Informed sources have revealed that an under-current is raging which could result in a fresh row between officials of the Ministry of Finance and those of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over non remittance of funds to the Federation Accounts.
Towards the end of third quarter of 2016, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had disclosed that over N450 billion outstanding funds were yet to be paid into the Federation Accounts by 33 agencies and parastatals, including CBN, NTA, FAAN and others.
Her position was given some credence when the chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Elias Mbam, confirmed that only about 45 per cent of funds expected from MDAs, which generate revenue for the government was received between the first and second quarters of 2016.
But a latest development has shown that of the MDAs named as having failed to comply with the directive, only 12 had fully complied, while eight have partially paid up their outstanding with the rest, including CBN yet to respond.
It was learnt that the earlier face off between the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and Adeosun over policies that could see Nigeria survive its recession is still playing out unofficially, a situation believed to have created friction between the two principal financial officers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team.
But Adeosun had in a new directive to all MDAs said all agencies’ financial statements must be covered in a fresh template, which can only be reviewed after a three-year duration.
According to a circular, with reference number FMF/HMF/2016/1/2, sighted by Ripples Nigeria on Monday and addressed to: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, all federal ministries and others, failure would be visited with sanctions,
She still maintained that more than 60 per cent of the agencies were yet to remit their outstanding funds to the Federation Accounts.
The fresh list of defaulting agencies include: the CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Bureau for Public Enterprises and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
However, an analyst, David Aguonmou, argued that “this government is being run as a house against itself. If the agencies could not reconcile their accounts till date, the much talked about financial discipline in the system may be a mirage.”
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