By Amina Isah
The Federal Government said it recently discovered that 15 government revenue generating agencies did not remit over N8.1 trillion to the Federation Account between 2010 and 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the disclosure on Monday at the inauguration of the 10 kilometre channelisation and desilting of Okomo and Ogbagba rivers in Osogbo, Osun state.
The N2.156 billion erosion control project was executed by the Federal Government through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) under Presidency.
Buhari who was represented at the event by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the fraud was discovered through the audit of the agencies by KPMG.
“Recently, the Federal Government ordered an audit (between 2010 and 2015) of 15 government revenue generating agencies.
“The result was the discovery that the agencies had not remitted over 8.1 trillion Naira to the Federation Account.
“This amount is about six times the 1.34 trillion Naira that was stolen by 55 people between 2006 and 2015.
It is also the equivalent, on the average, of the country’s yearly national budget!
“Imagine, for a moment, how many kilometres of roads could have been constructed, how many kilometres of rail tracks that could have been laid.
“Imagine, also how many modern hospitals and schools that could have been built if that money had been properly accounted for.
The President who did not give the names of the agencies reiterated the commitment of the administration to fighting corruption.
He said the government “will not stop talking about those who have looted the public treasury, despite the pushback from their apologists”.
“If we do not stop the looting of the treasury, there will be no money for the kind of projects we are commissioning here in Osogbo today.
Corroborating the President’s position, Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola said the fraud was discovered when the National Economic Council (NEC) ordered the audit of the accounts of the 15 revenue generation agencies.
The NEC, which is the highest economic decision making body in the country is presided over by the Vice President with 36 state governors, FCT Minister and other key ministers as members.
Aregbesola said the NEC constituted a committee headed by Gov Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe on the probe of the unremitted fund collected by the agencies on behalf of the government.
The governor who also did not mention the names of the agencies said that NEC had approved the extension of the probe till 2017.
Aregbesola decried the level of corruption perpetrated by the previous administration noting that his state would have benefitted not less than N75 billion if the funds were remitted to the federation account by the agencies.
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