The House of Representatives on Monday urged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to scale up its revenue target for the 2023 financial year to about N15 billion.
The House gave the pish via its committee on Finance when Babatunde Irukera, the executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of FCCPC said the commission is targeting N14.3 billion revenue for next year.
Irukera who appeared before the committee for interaction on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP) said before he assumed office in April 2017, the commission had zero remittance into government treasury.
He however said under his administration at the end of 2017, the sum of N41 million was remitted and that N34 million was remitted at the end of 2018.
The FCCPC boss said after the amendment of the agency establishment act in 2019, N98million was remitted and the commission pulled out from being funded by the treasury and became self-funded.
According to Irukera, in 2021, the sum of N1.3 billion was remitted and in 2022, a total sum of N1.26 billion has been so far remitted.
“In the process of leaving the government treasury, as at today with the budget performing at 70 per cent, we have received N163 million in overhead, N296 million in capital and not a naira is waiting to be swept at the end of the year; that’s about N500 million,” he said.
“As at this year, we have given the government N1.2 billion and we will give more; our revenue target for 2023 is N14.3 billion, I feel relatively confident that we will be close or hit the target.
“We, however, need to find a balance, we are not a revenue generating agency, and we must not be portrayed or perceived as doing our work so revenue will come in. We will lose our credibility and it will affect the economy.”
On the issues of expenditures earlier raised by lawmakers, Irukera said that hazard allowances are paid to staff who go out on surveillance and enforcement.
He said the workers are exposed to so many dangers especially when they face loan sharks and digital lenders that send defamatory messages in the country, adding that FCCPC is one of the agencies that worked throughout the COVID-19 lockdown
The executive vice chairman said the increase in insurance premium from N3 million to N30 million was because before his arrival, the commission acted irresponsibly about insurance which has been corrected.
“They were buying brand new cars and were doing third-party insurance so there was potential for loss but now, we insure all the vehicles comprehensively, we do all the appropriate insurance to make sure that not only are people comfortable, we make sure if there is a loss of government property, we do not have to pay for it,’’ he said.
Abdullahi Saidu, chairman of the committee while asking the agency to increase its revenue target said, in the banking sector, when a member of staff meets a target of one billion naira, the next day a two billion naira target is given.
He said: “If you do that, let the committee know so that we have a reference point for other agencies appearing before us like I earlier made example of Prof. Is-haq Oyelede of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
“If you do that, I assure you, the country will celebrate you; I know we are not too good in celebrating achievers, but this assembly has given people award in our chambers.
“So if you do something deserving of accolade, this committee will speak for you, Nigerians will celebrate you. So come back and say you have done N15 billion and then we will say, he has raised revenue from two billion to N15 billion.
“That is a quantum lift anywhere any time, we know you can do it, with the passion you displayed today the committee believes you can do it.”
Also at the sitting, the committee faulted report by Allen Dutse, the director of finance, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which showed that huge sums of money were spent on office maintenance and other line items expenditure by the agency in 2021.
But, the TCN director of finance lamented that the agency is underfunded by the government as it budgeted N130 billion and got N7 billion in 2020 and also budgeted N168 billion but got N6 billion in 2022.
A member of the committee, John Dyegh (PDP, Benue) interjected the agency’s submission, saying many of the line items of the budget of the agency were severally repeated.