*Apex bank insists 80% of surpluses remitted yearly
Tunde Opalana, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) and the Senate on Wednesday tangled over claim on remittances of operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund ( CRF) within the last five years .
While Senate emphatically alleged that the specnank has in the past five years failed to remit the stipulated 80% of its operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund ( CRF), the CBN described as incorrect and unsubstantiated such claim.
The tackling played out during the opening of a 3 days public interaction with government revenue generating agencies by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, National Planning , Foreign and Local Debts, Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream) and Gas on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
Chairman , Senate Committee on Finance who is the chairman of the Joint Committees , Solomon Adeola Olamilekan ( APC Lagos West ) alleged that the non- remittance of revenue by the CBN and other Government Owned Enterprise (GOEs) have been responsible for shortfall in government revenue capacities.
Pointing accusing fingers at the CBN, Adeola 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 yearly budget of N2.3trillion , has not remitted any revenue from its operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund within the last five years ”
In a swift reaction , the Deputy Governor of CBN in charge of Economic Policy , Dr Kingsley Obiora not only debunked the allegation but declared that 80% of the Central Bank’s operational surpluses in the past five years, have always been fully remitted to the CRF on yearly basis .
The remittance he explained ,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.
The Chairman of the committee however directed the CBN to produce documentary evidence of its remittances within the last five years unfailingly Friday this week .
He also told the apex bank to 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 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)and Fiscal Strategy Paper being considered by the committee .
” He who comes to equity must come with clean hands . Since you have declared before the whole world that CBN has been remitting 80% operational surpluses into CRF, it is necessary that we see the documentary evidence , as that would lay the controversy to rest .
” Let’s have these documents latest by 11:00am on Friday “, he directed .