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Reps uncover FAAN’s unremitted N65b to consolidated revenue fund

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• Move to review Visa restrictions on Nigerians

The House of Representatives yesterday uncovered how management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) failed to remit over N65b to the consolidated revenue fund (CRF) from 2014 to date.

House Committee on Finance, headed by James Abiodun Faleke (Lagos APC) uncovered the missing funds during an interactive session with FAAN officials led by its Managing Director, Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.

It accused FAAN of remitting only N9b as against N74b to the CRF within the period under review in breach of section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Faleke and members of the committee rejected excuses offered by Yadudu, who was grilled for about an hour over the infractions.

He spoke after Yadudu explained that he had already intimated the National Assembly on the reasons for the authority’s inability to remit the N65b.

Yadudu admitted discrepancies in the details of money remitted to the CRF and records in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

He, however, said the need to ensure compliance with standard aviation regulations, payment of salaries and pensions to workers and FAAN’s decision to subsidise operations of 19 of the 22 non-profit yielding airports in the country, as reasons why FAAN faced difficulties in remitting surplus revenue to government.

Faleke responded by saying that such excuses were not plausible enough in view of the fact that government needed revenues to fund the budget.

Lamenting that funding for capital expenditure had not exceeded 40 per cent over the years due to revenue leakages, he noted, “The reasons you advanced are good for your agency, but they are not good for this committee. Go and request for the Act establishing FAAN to be amended.

“For now, you must return the money in accordance with the law. No one is above the law. Every agency can give excuses on why they need more money. When we met with the Ministry of Finance and they aggregate revenues from the MDAs, that is what they rely on to prepare the budget.”

Besides, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) has decried the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) over unavailability of its audited accounts from 2014 to 2018.

The committee headed by Wole Oke, wondered how such a key agency whose operations have direct bearing on the wellbeing of Nigerians was ran without an audited account within the period under review.

Oke, therefore, directed the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof Mohammed Sambo, to investigate the agency and provide evidence of compliance to the Public Procurement Act within the period under review.

Meanwhile, the House also resolved to interface with relevant government agencies and diplomatic missions to ensure a review of visa restriction placed on Nigerians by the United States of America (USA).

Adopting a motion under matters of urgent importance sponsored by Yusuf Tajudeen, during plenary presided by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the House enjoined the executive arm of government to prevent a reoccurrence of the incidence.


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