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Customs disowns Accountant General over N28bn remittances

From: Adekunle Adesuji
Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali on Thursday disowned the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris  report on differentials of N28 billion which was  under remitted into the Federation Account in 2015.

 Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine had in his 2015  Financial Statement for 2015 queried the Accountant General over differentials in the amount remitted by the Customs Service and the figures contained in his own records.
According to the report, the Customs remitted N185 billion as against the sum of N157 billion in the Chief Accountant’s document.
The Accountant General who was represented Feyintola Olusegun, a Director in his office, had earlier referred the Auditor-General and the Senate Panel to the Customs Service for clarification.
But, the Custom Boss who personally appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Account said that query was strange to the Service because the mode of Custom collections are purely automated.
According to Ali, the query in question was strange to the service because the mode of Customs collections are purely automated.
“For anybody to pointing at us; then there is a problem”, he said.
The Accountant-General made what appears a U-turn with a new explanation that the N28 billion was for ECOWAS stabilization fund for 2015.
His latest explanation did not quite sit well with the lawmakers especially as it was not reflected in his earlier written submission to the Senate Panel and
unable to provide documentary evidence to back up his claim.
On the query of non remittance of pension fund; Ali admitted that his command defaulted in 2015 because it did not have sufficient funds to meet up with the obligation.
This was as the Accountant General came under fire over unpaid domestic loan of N37.8billion borrowed from 10% Rice Level Account for urgent expenditure in 2013.
The Senate Panel  questioned why the Accountant General had failed to include the loan in the budget since then.
The Customs Service benefited  N4.5 billion from the said loan.
Other beneficiaries of the unpaid loan are: INEC, PHCN, and NIMCOMSAT.
The Senate Panel however asked the Accountant General to come forward with details of the loan that can help it conclude its probe.
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