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General News of Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

Reps panel asks NEPZA to clarify N13.3bn discrepancy in its accounts

The House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating unclaimed funds in commercial banks has given Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) seven days ultimatum to reconcile its account or refund N13.3 billion to the federal government.

The committee issued the ultimatum on Tuesday at its ongoing investigative hearing into unremitted funds trapped in commercial banks from 2013 to 2021.

The Chairman of the committee, Uyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom), said that enough time had been given to the agency to reconcile its account and that the House would not hesitate to force NEPZA to pay the amount when the ultimatum elapses.

He said the law requires the agency to pay into government coffers, 80 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)

The lawmaker said that documents in the committee’s possession show that NEPZA has yet to remit the sum of N13.3 billion into the federation account.

Responding to the claim by the committee Chairman, the Director of Finance of NEPZA, Oyeshola Oyekunle, said the agency is not owing the federal government.

He said that within the period, the agency remitted N3.92 billion into the federation account instead of N2.3 billion.

Mr Oyekunle said that the excess was a result of a circular from the ministry of finance which mandated the agency to pay 25 per cent of the operating surplus into government covers.

The director said consultants engaged by the Committee calculated personnel costs as internally generated revenue. He said he had “made several efforts to meet with the consultant but the expert was not always in town.”

Meanwhile, the committee mandated Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to present evidence of its annual financial reports between 2013 – 2021.

It also requested that for remittances, PTAD should provide treasury receipts stating the sums remitted within the same timeframe.