The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission has revealed that a significant amount of government revenue remains trapped in commercial banks, unremitted.
The Chairman of RMFAC, Mohammed Shehu, stated this when he received the Controller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi, who paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja.
He expressed concern that the non-remittance of monies to the government coffers by revenue-generating agencies had resulted in the government being trapped in banks.
RMAFC is a Federal Government agency responsible for mobilising and allocating revenue to the three tiers of government in Nigeria.
The commission also monitors the financial activities of the Federal, State, and Local Governments to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.
Recall that the commission recovered N319bn in unreported funds by government agencies in 2023.
According to the RMAFC chairman, the abuse of procedure that results in loss of revenue, including evasion of payment of levies, duties and other related revenue has created room for a lot of funds to be trapped with the stakeholders, especially the commercial banks.
Shehu added that the commission was ready to take up the responsibility to fulfil its mandates in line with the subsisting presidential directive to block revenue leakages, irrespective of its source.
He said, “As you are aware, the major issue of concern to RMAFC is the non-remittance of monies to the government coffers, which has created room for a lot of funds trapped with the stakeholders, especially the commercial banks.
“We, therefore, seek to leverage your timely visit to enlist your support for the commission to recover these funds and deliberately improve revenue mobilisation, block revenue leakages and advise the present administration on appropriate measures to increase revenue generation for the Federation Account.”
He sought the CG’s support to recover the funds, improve revenue mobilisation and block revenue leakages.
Speaking further, the RMAFC chairman urged the government to authorise the customs as the sole revenue-collecting agency at the ports to boost efficiency.
“Our ports have so many agencies that are operating and we believe, to some extent, it is a hindrance. We just have too many organisations and we envisage a situation where a new model can come up that the NCS may be the only agency that will be at the port to do the assessment and put the necessary things in place so that the revenue will be done without much interference from other various agencies,” he added.
In his remarks, the customs boss thanked the commission for drawing its attention to possible leakages, stressing that the agency was ready to surpass its last year’s revenue target of N3.2tn.
“The Nigeria Customs Service is empowered by Section 4 of the NCS ACT 2023 to collect and account for revenue from import duties, excise duties, and other taxes and levies. The service receives an annual revenue target from the Federal Government. For the year 2023, the NCS was given a target of N3.7trn and generated N3.21trn, which represents 87 per cent of the total revenue target.
“The customs pledge its unalloyed support and understanding for what the commission is set to do and that is promoting and enhancing the environment under which we generate our revenue and ensuring that there will be proper accountability through remittances of revenue collected and most importantly block whatever revenue drains that we may have in our system.
“We know those areas where there could be leakages and we are asking the right question to resolve them,” he noted.
Adeniyi also pledged to ensure that all money collected by the agency is remitted fully.