Panel says govt, revenue agencies lacked transparency in operations



THE last may not have been heard about the controversy generated by the alleged misuse of resources as the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led ad-hoc committee looking into the Federal Government’s revenue-generating agencies under the last administration yesterday came down hard on them, accusing them of being less than transparent in conduct of their operations.

The fact came to the fore when the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, briefed the National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja.

The five governors on the ad-hoc committee are the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo; Kaduna State Governor, Malam El-Rufai; (who presented the report to Council today (yesterday); Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

The indictment was contained in a preliminary report turned in by the NEC’s ad-hoc committee on the probe of remittances ‎to the Federation Account by the agencies, which found that there were no checks and balances in the manner the agencies remitted their revenues to government treasury, thus giving room for underhand practices and corruption.

Ajimobi, who read the main text of the briefing, said the preliminary report was part of the briefing presented by the AGF, who also updated the Council on the status of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) on September 15.

A statement later from the Media Office of the Vice President quoted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as saying during his submission to the Council that more states of the federation have started benefiting from the Special Intervention Fund aspect of the presidential relief package earlier approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, 18 states had been able to draw from the Fund as of today, while a number of other states are currently being processed for the soft loan facility.

Also, the Director of Corporate Communications of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Ibrahim Muazu, yesterday said that five more states yesterday accessed the Federal Government’s stimulus package designed for cash- strapped states to enable them meet salaries obligations to their workers.

Muazu listed the new beneficiary states as Ekiti, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun and Oyo, thus bringing the number of states so far who had drawn from the bailout fund to 15.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, DMO, Mr. Abraham Nwankwo, also informed the NEC that the second phase of the debt restructuring offered to the states is now in effect with 13 new states now being considered, with 12 banks involved.

This is in addition to 11 states whose debts were restructured last month, according to Nwankwo, who also told the Council that 23 states are now involved in the restructuring.

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