By Folasade Folarin
The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says it will recover an additional N56.6 billion from five states and federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the ongoing tax liabilities recovery.
The Acting Chairman, Mr Shettimma Abba-Gana, made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja,
He said the exercise covered between 2005 and 2015 across 30 states of the federation.
He said that the exercise, being carried out by the commission, had already uncovered N115 billion.
Abba-Gana said that monitoring and auditing were an ongoing exercise meant to discover and recover funds, collected and meant for the federation account.
“We always go back to monitor and audit and check if the right tax collected has been remitted.
“So, we find new taxes that have not been remitted or collected, and it’s good that we are doing this, and are finding uncollected and unremitted revenue.
“The exercise also has another benefit because it will serve as a deterrent to the agencies, tax payers or tax collectors, to be aware that sooner or later RMAFC will come.
“So, they might as well make sure they have got their books in order.’’
He added that the exercise was expected to bring about an increase in revenue collection and remittance.
Abba-Gana said there were sanctions for delays in the remittance of the revenues, but that they would only be applied where it was established that those delays were made on purpose.
“It is not going to be fair to say that some of these things are deliberate.
“They may be, but we have to give benefit of the doubt whether something was forgotten or maybe bureaucracy or wrongful applications or some mistakes have been made.
“They could be acts of deliberate attempts to evade or avoid paying the revenues, but it is always better to say there could be mistakes, forgetfulness or misapplication of the rates and things like that.
“So, when issues of deliberate attempts to not remit are found, definitely some agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would have to be brought in, and sanctions would follow from there.
“There is a charge for delayed remittances but when a major problem is found, the EFCC will have to be brought in.’’
He also spoke about verification and reconciliation of revenue collections and remittances from collecting banks, on behalf of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Abba-Gana said that N6.4 billion was recovered between January 2008 and June 30, 2012, while the second phase that covered July 31, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2015 recovered N40 billion.
He, however, said that an uncontested N7.9 billion had been established from the concluded reconciliations with the banks.
The RMAFC was established to monitor accruals into the federation account and the disbursement of revenue from it. (NAN)