Reps query Customs over failure to submit three years audited financial statement

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The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has slammed Nigeria Customs Service over the non-submission of audited financial statements for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years to the Auditor General for the federation.

Controller General of Customs, Basir Adewale Adeniyi, along with his subordinates, faced questioning during the Committee hearing led by Representative Bamidele Salam regarding the Auditor General’s queries on the 2017 audited report.

According to the queries, “under-remittance of revenue into the federation account for the year 2017 in sum of N62,242,980,006.87, discrepancies in reported revenue figures, resulting in under-remittance of revenue of sum N63,601,805,270.67, under-disclosure of outstanding remittance for the year 2016 to sum N10,473,681.51, Non-maintenance of bank statements and bank reconciliation statements; non-maintenance of revenue collectors receipts.

“Violation of the e-payment policy of the federal government for sums of N2,654,500.00 and non-submission of audited financial statements for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years”

The Controller General explained that only the Common External Tariff is deposited into the Federation account by the OAGF, while other active funds are directed to the non-federation account.

He acknowledged an excess remittance of N1,170,469,464.13 to the federation account, with no instances of under-remittance amounting to N62,242,980,006.87.

Furthermore, he clarified that with the initiation of the Treasury Single Account, area commands no longer maintain accounts with commercial banks. Consequently, all accounts have been closed, and the revenue collected is directly remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Statements are then accessed at the customs headquarters through CBN’s Transaction Query System (TQS).

According to him, “Since the introduction of repayment in 2009, the maintenance of Treasury Book 6A for revenue collections has been stopped. Rather, the repayment receipts on the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System platform have replaced Treasury Book 6A.

“The service does not have fuel, and this necessitates the fueling of the vehicles for operational purposes, which cuts across the four zonal headquarters and area commands across the nation for control purposes.

“The service submitted copies of audited financial statements and management reports for the three (3) years under review.”

The committee received documents indicating that the audited financial statements for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years were submitted to the Auditor General for the Federation in 2021.

Members of the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the delayed submission of audited financial statements for the mentioned years.

In response, the Committee Chairman instructed the Auditor General to provide documentation for other queries raised against the commission.

“Splitting of contracts to circumvent tender procedures to the sum of N38,120,000.00, payment vouchers without supporting documents to the sum of N22,396,768.00, and unretired cash advances in the sum of N12,431,199.63,” he noted.

To this end, the lawmakers unanimously resolved to allow the customs to come to defend the above queries.