Govt declares emergency on revenue collection

To overcome revenue challenges experienced in the 2017 and 2018 budgets implementation, government Tuesday said it has declared a state of emergency on revenue generation.

The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, disclosed this during a Town Hall Meeting with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of government-owned enterprises in Abuja.

Akabueze said government has no option than to compel revenue generation agencies to improve on remittances of their operating surpluses to the national coffers, while ensuring stronger enforcement action against tax defaulters.

According to Akabueze, after investing over N40trillion cumulatively in various government enterprises, the returns to government coffers in terms of dividends or surpluses at the end of each operating years has been most dismal and insignificant.

He stated that most of the GOEs record less than one percent return on actual performance, while only a few others declare surpluses.

“In effect, the Nigerian taxpayers/general public have not benefited much from these investments in the agencies,” he said.

Out of the total projected N807.57billion independent revenues in 2017, he said only N216.66 billion, or about 26.8 percent performance, was remitted by GOEs and revenue generating MDAs.

Besides, he expressed sadness that several government agencies owe the federation trillions of naira in unremitted operating surpluses.
Although remittances and collections by GOEs should contribute more significantly to government’s revenue, Mr. Akabueze said records show that a few actually declared surpluses in 2017, with no prospects of having a better performance in 2018.

To reverse the ugly trend, he said President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated that urgent corrective measures be adopted to drive better performances along the line of Execute Order 2 (EO2) of 2017.

The Executive Order deals mainly with budget and process for GEOs and other government agencies as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation circular on the subject of the performance management framework for the GOEs.

Akabueze said the town hall meeting was convened to let the agencies know the concerns of government and new strategies improve the situation.

The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, the Group General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

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