The Nigeria Customs Service Thursday debunked a claim that it failed to remit revenue in excess of N28 billion to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015.
Hameed Ali, the Customs Comptroller General and Ahmed Idris, the nation’s Accountant General simultaneously appeared before the Senate Public Accounts Committee to respond to the audit query to the Accountant General from Anthony Ayine, the Auditor General.
Mr Ayine had, in the 2015 audited Financial Statement, requested Idris to give the rationale for the discrepancy in the figures submitted by the Customs Service and the one provided by the Accountant General’s office.
However, Mr Idris responded by directing the Auditor General and the Senate Public Accounts Committee to the Customs boss to get a clear picture of the matter.
It is worthy of note that the audit report indicated that the Nigerian Customs Service credited N185 billion into the Federation Account compared to the N157 billion in the Accountant General’s statement.
Colonel Ali expressed dismay over the development, saying the Nigerian Customs Service’s revenue collection process was automated.
On his part, Idris identified N28 billion as the 2015 ECOWAS Stabilisation Fund.
The Senate panel affirmed that the clarification given by Mr Idris did not reflect in the document he handed to the panel before.
Giving his reason for not remitting pension fund in 2015, Ali said his agency failed on the ground of dearth of fund to execute the task.
Matthew Urhogide, the Chairman of the panel, expressed the frustration of the senate at the refusal of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to answer audit queries issued to them, saying quite a number of them had not submitted their audited accounts.
“How can we say we are fighting corruption under this situation?
“The Customs Act says you must send in your audited accounts, six months into another financial year.
“We must clear the outstanding unaudited accounts. What the President does with this will tell us how we are fighting corruption,” Mr Urhogide said.