By John Ikani
The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), on Wednesday tackled the Nigerian Senate over alleged unremitted 80% of operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last five years.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, had, in an interactive session with revenue generating agencies, accused the CBN of not remitting its operational surpluses within the last five years.
The ranking senator in making the allegation said: “Nigeria wouldn’t have been having problem of inadequate revenue to fund its annual budget if revenue generating agencies were remitting 80% of their operational surpluses into the CRF as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“Specifically, the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has a yearly budget of N2.3 trillion, has not remitted any revenue from its operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund within the last five years.”
However, the Apex bank in a swift response to the allegation raised by the Joint Committees, declared that 80% of the apex bank’s operational surpluses , have always been remitted to the CRF on yearly basis.
Speaking on behalf of CBN, Deputy Governor of CBN in charge of Economic Policy , Dr Kingsley Obiora, explained that the remittance is done in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and not that of the CBN Act which stipulates 75% remittance.
“With all due respect to the Senate and in particular , this committee , the CBN as a law abiding government agency , had not at anytime, defaulted in the remittance of its operational surpluses .
“We do this on yearly basis as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act despite the fact that the CBN Act , requires us , to remit 75% only,” he said.
Responding, Adeola directed the CBN to produce documents to show remittances made by it over the years and make it available to the Committee not later than tomorrow.
He asked CBN to equally produce its audited account in the last five years, as well as its position paper on monetary policy point of view on the 2022 – 2024 MTEF/FSP being considered by the committee.
Adeola added: “He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Since you have declared before the whole world that CBN has been remitting 80 per cent operational surpluses into CRF, we must see the documentary evidence, as that would lay the controversy to rest.
“Let’s have these documents latest by 11.00 am on Friday.”