Politics

Govt agencies face probe as JAMB remits N5bn to FG, highest in 40 years

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The Federal Government has Wednesday made known its decision to probe some select agencies of government including the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over disparities in remittances to the federation account over the years.

Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun revealed that JAMB in July announced a remittance of N5 billion to the federal government, its highest in the last 40 years of its existence.

For NIMASA, the minister underscored its record of disparate past remittances, disclosing that NIMASA remitted N4.95 billion in 2015 and N24 billion in 2016.

Adeosun said the discovered disparity in the remittances of JAMB and NIMASA has now warranted the government’s decision to probe all former heads of these agencies and other agencies with similar discrepancies.

“We also reported on the progress made by a number of our agencies some of whom have reported very significant increases in the amount paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

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“Council discussed JAMB which recorded significant progress and NIMASA as well as others and gave us the charge to really go and look at these agencies, look in some cases the past management of those agencies and see where those agencies were leaking and to encourage agencies that haven’t done so to continue with efficiencies.

“The highest amount that JAMB has ever remitted to the consolidated revenue fund before this management was N3 million. This year so far they have done N5 billion and the minister of education reported that they have additional N3 billion that they are ready to remit which will take this year’s figure alone to N8 billion.

“Now they have not increased their charges nor their fees. So the question that Council members were asking was that where were all these monies before? So the directive was given that we must call those who were the heads of those agencies and similar ones to account and that is what we intend to do.

“It is a similar stories with other agencies and these are the leakages which we are now blocking. These are the monies in the consolidated fund that is now being applied in the projects that really needs to get the economy moving.

“These are the monies that are missing that have led us to the position we are in. It is the grandest looting that this administration action has come in to address”, the minister stated.

Some observers who have long called for agencies like JAMB to be probed over suspect remittances to the federation account will receive news of this development with relief and anticipation.

They will hope that the government will be able to get to the bottom of the matter, while also ensuring a sustainable system of accountability anchored on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and other supporting measures that will guarantee that revenue-generating agencies of government not only remit the due revenue, but are seen to be so doing.

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