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Reps summon Cardoso, auditor-general over revenue leakages

Former banker endorses CBN Governor’s FX reforms amid naira volatility

.Remita says N34.3trn revenue generated in 8 years

The House of Representatives committee on public accounts has summoned Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Shaaka Chira, the auditor-general of the federation to appear before it on Tuesday, February 20. They are required to provide documents and explanations regarding alleged revenue leakages through Remita platform.

They are also to give an account of the roles played by each of the institutions in the contract agreement with Remita.

The committee issued the summon on Wednesday during its public hearing/ investigation into the alleged revenue leakages through the Remita platform and non-compliance with standard operating procedures and service level agreements in 2023.

The investigation was initiated in November 2023, following a motion by two lawmakers, Jeremiah Umaru and Jafaru Gambo, who expressed concern over revenue leakages despite the online payment service provider used by federal agencies to remit revenue into the treasury single account (TSA).

Bamidele Salam, the committee chairman, expressed displeasure at the absence of the CBN governor despite multiple invitations to provide necessary documents. He noted that the CBN’s submitted documents did not align with the required format, voicing concerns about the apparent lack of interest from the bank in investigating revenue leakages.

“I am surprised the CBN governor is not here today because we have written to the CBN on this investigation. Unfortunately, we have to write to CBN three times. The most unfortunate thing is that even the documents that the CBN is supposed to submit to this house on this investigation were asked on three different occasions.

“On Tuesday they came with a set of documents that were not in line with the format provided, I had to initiate a call with the director of banking services to report what was happening. It appears like CBN itself is not even interested in what is happening, in investigating revenue leakages to the government. I was expecting that the CBN governor would be here this morning to clarify this matter, without the CBN governor and the attorney-general of the federation. I don’t know how we can get to the root of this matter “, he queried.

While responding to queries from the lawmakers, Deremi Atanda, managing director/CEO of Remita disclosed that N34.311trn revenue was generated through Remita platform into the Federation Account between 2015 and 2022.

According to him, the sum of N1.5 trn was remitted through the platform in 2015, N2.8 trillion in 2016, N3.7trn in 2017, N4.6trn in 2018, N4.6trn in 2019, N4.2trn in 2020 being COVID year, N6trn in 2021 while N6.8trn was realised in 2022 fiscal year, respectively.

While dismissing insinuation that Remita imposed additional fees apart from the approved N150 (which represents 10 cents at current exchange rate) on the revenue-generating MDAs, Atanda said that the Remita payment gateway platform provides additional technology services to the federation at no cost.