The federal government of Nigerian has claimed that 15 revenue generating agencies failed to remit N8.1 trillion to the Federation Account between 2010 and 2015.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the allegation on Monday in Osogbo, Osun State, while commissioning the Channelization, De-silting, Flood Control and Development of Okoko and Ogbagba Rivers, phases one and two, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the discovery by the auditing firm, KPMG was many times worse than the N1.34 trillion carted away by 55 public officials between 2006 and 2013.
“Recently, the Federal Government ordered an audit (between 2010 and 2015) of 15 government revenue generating agencies. The result was the discovery that the agencies had not remitted over 8.1 trillion Naira to the Federation Account. This amount is about six times the .34 trillion Naira that was stolen between 2006 and 2015.
“It is also the equivalent, on the average, of the country’s yearly national budget! Imagine, for a moment, how many kilometres of roads could have been constructed, how many kilometres of rail tracks that could have been laid with, and how many modern hospitals and schools that could have been built if that money had been properly accounted for,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister said the projects being executed by the present administration, including the one that was commissioned in Osogbo – one of 53 being commissioned across the country, could have long been completed but for the mind-boggling looting of the treasury by previous administrations, which deprived the nation of infrastructural growth.
He said that every kobo that is not looted is a plus for development, adding: ”This is why we will not stop talking about those who have looted the public treasury, despite the pushback from their apologists. If we do not stop the looting of the treasury, there will be no money for the kind of projects we are commissioning here in Osogbo today.”
In his address, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun corroborated the Minister’s disclosure that 8.1 trillion Naira was unaccounted for by 15 revenue generating agencies.
He said the share of his state from the said amount is 75 billion Naira which, he said, would have been more than enough to pay all civil servants their salaries and complete all infrastructural projects of the government.
Speaking on the commissioned project, the Minister said ‘‘this is the first time the Ecological Fund Office is ever commissioning any project and handing it over to the host community.’’
“I have no doubt in my mind that the successful completion of these projects would enhance the holistic solutions to soil erosion and flood menace in Osogbo Town. This would at the same time reduce the danger to lives and properties associated with erosion and persistent flooding that has been experienced here in the recent time,” he added.