FG orders probe of revenue-generation agencies

The Federal Executive Council has ordered that an investigation be carried into the activities of previous managements of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s meeting of the Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said the aim was to raise government’s revenue as well as block leakages in those agencies.

Adeosun said as a result of Buhari administration’s fight against corruption, JAMB for instance has increased its remittances to government coffers form three million to five billion naira per anum, thus the need to find out what went wrong in the past.

The highest amount that JAMB has ever remitted into the consolidated revenue fund before this management was three million naira. This year, so far, they have remitted five billion and the Minister of Education reported that they have an additional three billion that they are ready to remit and that will take this year’s figure alone to eight billion.

They have not increased their charges or fees so the question members of Council were asking was where were those monies before? So a directive was given that we must call those who were the heads of those agencies before, to account and that is what we are going to do as directed, Adeosun explained.

The Finance Minister also announced that the Council approved that Nigeria joins the African Trade Insurance Agency.

She said this will help the country provide risk guarantee for investors and also increase the level of investments in the country.

The Council approved for Nigeria to join the agency, which will provide risk guarantee for private investors coming into Nigeria as well as exporters from Nigeria. So instead of projects asking for sovereign guarantees, we will be able to provide that risk mitigation through the Africa Trade Insurance Agency. Many African countries are already members, so Nigeria, which would be joining this agency has an ‘A’ stable rating and is able to guarantee long term projects. So this will increase our level of investment, particularly Public Private Partnership PPP, where very often the investors want guarantee from the government, she said.

Commenting on the country’s recent exit from recession, the Minister said a lot still needs to be done, to sustain the tempo.

She said: We need to continue cutting the cost of governance and also improve our revenues because oil price will never rise above $100 per barrel as it was in 2014.”

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