Customs disowns AGF Over N28 billion under-remittance

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali, on Thursday, disowned the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris , over  differentials of N28 billion allegedly underremitted into the Federation Account in 2015.
Disagreement between the duo ensued during their appearance before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts ( SPAC) , probing queries issued various government agencies by the Auditor General of the Federation on alleged underremitances  into Federation Account in 2015 .

The Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine had in his Financial Statement for 2015 asked the Accountant General to explain the differentials in the amount remitted by the Customs Service and the figures contained in his own records.

The audited report showed that the Customs remitted N185 billion as against the sum of N157 billion in the Chief Accountant’s document.
The Accountant General who was represented by Feyintola Olusegun, a Director in his office, had earlier refered the Auditor-General and the Senate Panel to the Customs Service for clarification.
According to Ali, the query in question was strange to the service because the mode of Customs collections are purely automated.
“For anybody to pointing at us; then there is a problem”, he said.

The Accountant-General made what appears a U-turn with a new explanation that the N28 billion was for ECOWAS stabilization fund for 2015.
His latest explanation did not quite sit well with the lawmakers especially as it was not reflected in his earlier written submission to the Senate Panel and unable to provide documentary evidence to back up his claim.

On the query of non remittance of pension fund; Ali admitted that his command defaulted in 2015 because it did not have sufficient funds to meet up with the obligation.
This was as the Accountant General came under fire over unpaid domestic loan of N37.8billion borrowed from 10% Rice Level Account for urgent expenditure in 2013.

The Senate panel questioned why the Accountant General  failed to include the loan in the budget since then.
The Customs Service benefited  N4.5 billion from the said loan.
Other beneficiaries of the unpaid loan are: INEC, PHCN, and NIMCOMSAT.
The Senate panel headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), however asked the Accountant General to come forward with details of the loan before submitting report of the probe exercise to the Senate .

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