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FRC: There’s currently no punishment for MDAs that fail to remit revenue to FG

FRC: There’s currently no punishment for MDAs that fail to remit revenue to FG
November 20
11:13 2020

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) is seeking punishments for agencies that fail to remit their revenues to consolidated revenue fund (CRF).

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On a number of occasions, the national assembly has decried the failure of some government agencies to remit revenue generated to the government.

Many federal lawmakers have argued that the country would not need to borrow much if agencies are viable and remit the desired revenue to the federation account.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Victor Muruako, FRC acting chairman, said some heads of the revenue-generating agencies find it convenient to violate the law because there are no prescribed punishments in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

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Muruako said if the amendment is passed and assented to by the president, revenue-generating agencies will be compelled to produce the necessary information the commission requires to do its job.

“For instance, the proposed amendment seeks to end the impunity that has previously attended the deliberate violation of critical provisions of the act, especially regarding availing the commission, on request, certain documents/information relating to public revenues and expenditure as provided under Section 2(1) of the act,” the acting chairman said.

“These requests have had previously been disregarded with consequences. There are no punishments provided for offences committed under the act.

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“Hence, public servants find it very convenient to violate the act without care. Because they have expert advice and they know there is no provision for punishment.”

The chairman said since its inception, the FRC has caused over N1.7 trillion to be remitted to government coffers.

Also speaking, Olusegun Elemo, executive director of Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI), said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has shown government must be prudent in managing the revenues it gets.

While calling on the national assembly to ensure that the needed amendments to the FRC act are passed, Elemo said funds borrowed by the government must be spent judiciously.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to fore the need to manage revenues more prudently,” he said.

“A large portion of the N13 trillion proposed 2021 budget will be borrowed as said by the minister of finance.

“If we are borrowing that much, it is our responsibility to ensure that whatever we are getting today is managed, efficiently utilised and effectively spent.”

The fiscal commission currently has 122 revenue-generating agencies on its list.

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