Reps decry alleged fund concealment, non-remittance by PPPRA
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The House of Representatives has flayed the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for allegedly concealing its internally generated revenue (IGR) between 2014 and 2019.
The green chamber expressed its anger when the agency’s General Manager Finance, Mr. Peter Joshua, failed to convincingly account for the funds generated by the outfit during the period under review when he appeared yesterday before the House Committee on Finance.
The James Abiodun Faleke-led panel is ascertaining the level of compliance by revenue-generating agencies regarding remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) during the period.
Joshua, who was grilled for over two hours, incurred the wrath of the lawmakers when he informed them that the PPPRA generated N2.87 billion in 2014, out of which it remitted N207 million instead of N708.9 million, representing 25 per cent of the amount.
Admitting that that the agency earns N15 kobo per litre from locally produced and imported petroleum products, he, however, failed to offer explanation for the non-remittance of over N500 million for 2014.
Asked on the volume of petroleum products consumed daily as at 2014, the PPPRA official, who has been working in the finance department since 2005, said it ranged from 35 to 40 million litres.
Joshua stated that the information could not serve as basis for actual revenue collection, just as he failed to account for PPPRA’s income and the volume of fuel consumed by major and independent oil marketers from 2014 to date.
Responding, Faleke accused the agency of undermining President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s quest to raise enough revenue to fund the 2020 budget.
His words: “You are hiding facts from us. It is either you are not competent or whatever you are doing here is deliberate. We will recommend appropriate sanctions. You are sitting on Nigerians’ money even when you know Nigeria cannot finance its capital budget beyond 20 per cent.
“You have stayed on this seat for too long. Remember we have a new sheriff in town. We are not here to joke. What we want is a system where we can finance our budget. If your agency alone is sitting on N500 million yearly based on your declaration in 2014 alone, then what is the essence of the PPPRA? “
Consequently, the committee directed the Executive Director to appear before it on February 27 with the organisation’s audited statements of account, outstanding indebtedness by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), independent and major marketers, annual budgets from 2011 till date, consumption details, copies of reconciliations with NNPC as well as all contracts awarded with the names of contractors and cost from 2011 to date.
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