Operating surplus: MDAs remit N1.42tn in 10 years

A total of 122 Ministries, Departments and Agencies remitted N1.42tn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 10 years, data obtained from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission have shown.

The Federal Government requires agencies listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 to pay 80 per cent of their operating surpluses into the CRF after their accounts must have been audited.

The operating surplus is made up of revenues accruing to government agencies above what they are approved to spend at the beginning of the budget year.

While some agencies had regularly complied with the requirement of the law, there are others that the Fiscal Responsibility Commission battles on a regular basis to extract the remittances or pledges for compliance with the law.

Many agencies have never paid operating surplus from the document obtained by our correspondent. This category of agencies includes the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the National Space Research Development Agency and the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Others that had never paid operating surplus include the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Petroleum Resources, Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Federal Housing Authority and the Bank of Industry.

Agencies leading in the level of remittances to the CRF include the Central Bank of Nigeria which had remitted N864.35bn; the Nigerian Communications Commission, N131.74bn; the Nigerian Ports Authority, N121.8bn; and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, N101.09bn.

Others are the National Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency, N52.98bn; the Bureau of Public Enterprises, N27.52bn; Federal Inland Revenue Service, N24.24bn and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, N11.88bn.

Thirty agencies were originally listed in the FRC Act. However, the Federal Government in order to shore up its revenue added 92 agencies in 2017 and that brought the number of government organisations required to pay operating surpluses to 122.

The 92 agencies that were added to the list include the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and FRCN.

The Federal Government set a target of N866bn to be realised from the 122 agencies in 2018. It is not certain how far the target was realised but the analysis of the data obtained from the FRC showed that N141.61bn was realised from the agencies in 2017.

The performance was better in 2016 when a total of N253.61bn was realised from the agencies through the payment of operating surpluses. An even better result was obtained in 2015 as a total of N323.56bn was realised.

The FRC believes that if the list of agencies required to pay operating surpluses is expanded and if the agencies will be faithful in remitting their obligations to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the Federal Government will not need to borrow again.

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