Reps committee orders NEPZA to reconcile account or pay N13.3bn to govt., agency cries foul


By Aluta News

Aug 23, 2022

An Ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives has given the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) a seven-day ultimatum to reconcile its account or pay N13.3 billion into the federation account.

NEPZA declared, however, that it did not owe the federation account any money and that the money being demanded was a miscalculation by a consultant engaged to look into its accounts.

The House of Representatives committee on the Recovery of Unclaimed Funds Trapped in Commercial Banks between 2013 and 2021 issued its ultimatum at a public hearing in Abuja on Tuesday.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Uyime Idem (PDP-Akwa Ibom) said it had given NEPZA more than enough time to reconcile its account and that it would not hesitate to force NEPZA to comply.

He explained that the law required the agency to pay 80 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) into government coffers.

The lawmaker said available documents in the committee’s possession suggested that NEPZA was yet to remit N13.3 billion into the federation account.

Responding to the charge, however, Director, Finance at NEPZA, Dr Oyeshola Oyekunle said that the agency did not owe the Federal Government.

He explained that within the period, the agency remitted N3.92 billion into the federation account instead of N2.3 billion.

The director said that the excess resulted from a circular from the Ministry of Finance mandating the agency to pay 25 per cent of its operating surplus into government covers.

Oyekunle argued that the N13.3 billion being demanded was not properly calculated saying that the consultants that prepared the documents, considered personnel cost as IGR.

He said that he had made several efforts to meet with the consultants but they had always been out of reach.

The committee adjourned ruling on the issue to Thursday, Sept. 1.

In a related development, the committee mandated the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to present evidence of its annual financial reports between 2013 and 2021.

It also requested PTAD to provide treasury receipts stating the sums remitted or evidence of “mop-ups’’ of unspent surpluses between 2013 and 2021 and any other relevant document.