FG To Sanction Agency CEOs Collecting Revenue In $s Remitting In Naira
The Federal Government has said that it would punish any agency head, whose agency collected revenues in foreign currencies and remit them into government accounts in naira.
This is just as the Federal Government refuted the insinuations making the rounds that the 2016 budget presented to the National Assembly by the President Muhammadu Buhari had been withdrawn for some adjustments as a result public outcries over some bogus subheads.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said this while speaking to State House correspondents, shortly after the inaugural Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday.
Adeosun warned that any agency head found wanting on this matter after the ongoing audit would be dealt with.
The Minister disclosed that the Federal Government had carried out a comprehensive audit of all the agencies that actually collect money in foreign currencies and remit in naira.
In her words, “The requirement is that such monies should go to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which should exchange the money into naira. What we discovered in some agencies, we have stopped it, but we are now doing an audit to identify other agencies. One we identified was NIMASA, but we discovered that there were other agencies we had not identified which also collect funds in foreign currencies, including our foreign missions. We are doing a full audit of all those accounts to ensure that all those revenues are now converted in accordance with the extant procedures and guidelines.”
According to him, “You know the budget is presented to the National Assembly and then there is what we call an interactive budget approval process and you know the agencies will still go and defend their budgets at the legislature. Ordinarily, in budget processes anywhere in the world, there can be amendments to the budgets arising from that interactive process, which is normal.”
She continued, “let me make it very clear. The budget is not being withdrawn or replaced. The budget has been presented and will go through the normal process whereby the MDAs defend their budgets. It is possible that in the process, because as you know the legislature is not there as a rubber stamp, their job is to scrutinise the budget and to approve that budget, there may be some changes that occur as a result of that interactive process. But that process is normal everywhere in the world where a budget is presented. So I think it is important to make that clarification.”
On insinuation that the budget may be padded by the National Assembly, Adeosun, said that it was not possible based on the financial condition of the country.