UPDATED: FG to probe past heads of JAMB, NIMASA over poor remittances
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), has ordered the probe of past heads of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), over poor remittances in the past.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed council about the performances of some government agencies, said for the first time in its 40 years of existence, JAMB remitted N5b has already this year, with a balance of N3 billion yet to be remitted. This, she said is compared to maximum N3 million per annum remitted in the past, raising questions on what had happened to the shortfalls.
According to Adeosun, while NIMASA remitted N4.95 billion in 2015 to the nation’s purse, the same agency remitted N24 billion in 2016.
She said the disparity in the remittances of the two agencies in the past and now necessitated the decision to probe all previous heads of the two agencies.
Adeosun said the discovery had led to a directive from the council to summon all past heads of JAMB to explain where past revenues of organisation had been diverted to, noting that the current generation by the body is not prompted by increase in JAMB fees which had remained the same.
The minister also disclosed that other agencies with similar discrepancies in their revenue remittances will be probed.
Her words. “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 reporter 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 called those who were the heads of those agencies and similar ones to account and that is what we intend to do.
“It:s 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 moneys that are missing that has led us to the position we are in. It is the grandest looting that this administration action has come in to addressed.”
The minister also said besides JAMB, the Council discussed progress being recorded in the revenue generation of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that is “recording significant progress,” adding: “We want to look into those agencies, the past management of those agencies and see where those revenues were leaking and to encourage those agencies to continue with efficiencies.”
Adeosun also said the council reviewed the recent exit from recession and described it as an indication that the government was taking right decisions.
Adeosun said growth rebound was not driven by increase in oil revenues only but also by investment in infrastructure such as road construction which she said facilitated the growth in agriculture and industry.
According to her, the fiscal initiatives being pursued by the government include fiscal consolidation and cost efficiency adding that the integrated payroll system being implemented by the government has continued to show contraction which she said would be continued.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, also said FEC was encouraged by the economic growth rate of 0.55 per cent which aided Nigeria’s exit from recession.
According to him, it was the first time that the economy was growing after five quarters while the entire industry sector on the other hand was growing for the first time in nine quarters.
He, however, added that the growth was small and hence, not a growth that could impact the economy positively but only showed that the economy was moving in the right direction adding that the government would continue to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with the target growth of 3.5 per cent.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
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