The National Economic Council (NEC) presided over on Thursday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the final report on the forensic audit of revenue accruals by revenue generating agencies confirmed massive under-remittances to the Federation Account to the tune of N8.1 trillion. According to DAILY SUN, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of meeting, said various Revenue Generating Agencies (RGAs) shortchanged the government of N526 billion and $21 billion between 2010 to 2015. Dankwambo, who chaired the NEC ad hoc committee on remittances, said the infractions were identified by KPMG who were contracted by the NEC to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Accounts.
Still on the missing funds, NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, THE PUNCH, DAILY INDEPENDENT reveals that NEC asks NNPC, NCS, NPA, others to refund N8.13trh. It would be recalled that in recent times government has complained of difficulties in meeting its salary obligations, however, it had kept mum over the matter in order not to elicit controversies. The Gombe governor said the financial audit consultancy firm of KPMG which covered 18 revenue generating agencies found them culpable of under remittances. The agencies included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Others include Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and several others.
Moving away from the issue of missing funds, THE VANGUARD records FG saying that efforts to stop killing in S-Africa not working. The Federal Government has expressed helplessness over the continued killing of Nigerians in xenophobic attacks in South Africa. This is as findings revealed that one Nigerian is killed weekly as a result of xenophobic attacks in the country. The figure is the outcome of a breakdown of the number of people, reported killed between 2016 and 2017 in an earlier statement by the Federal Government. The government had reported that 116 people were killed in South Africa in two years. Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, revealed this in 2017 during a visit to the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Lulu Mngun. She had said: “In the last two years, 116 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa and according to statistics, 63% of them were killed by the police.”
THE NATION moves to a more daring topic to release a new list of looters of the public treasury, with Diezani, NIMASA, Ikoyi cash haul take top three spots. They are wrong, some stakeholders said in Abuja at the Second Forum of the Anti-Corruption Situation Room, organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA). Activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) said there was nothing wrong with the listing of looters by the Federal Government, contrary to the claim by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some of its leaders. PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus and another top member, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, have sued Minisster of Information Lai Mohammed and others over the inclusion of their names on the list. Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Chairman Prof Itse Sagay (SAN), one of those who defended the action, said: “I still insist that anyone who has a good reason to include a name should put the name.” He said a court ordered the government to publish the names of those who looted the nation’s resources and the list was released in accordance with the court’s directive and in public interest.
Finally on BUSINESS DAY, Buhari, Atiku, others and their economic agenda for 2019 heads the news. Faced with a fragile economic recovery from a recession that threw millions of Nigerians out of jobs, the 2019 election will be about the economy and which presidential candidate has the most viable strategy of putting Nigeria on a sustainable economic growth path.
Ordinarily, the economy should dominate campaign discourses by aspirants wishing to contest for the presidency in 2019. But as yet, very few candidates have been talking about their economic agenda for the country and what they intend to do to tackle the country’s legendary economic challenges.