Reps summon CBN Governor over ‘shady’ contract with REMITA

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 14, 20245 min

It was revealed that REMITA, in the last 7 years, collected the sum of N33.3 trillion on behalf of CBN and carted away with fees worth N23.9 billion.

CBN governor

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein to give clarity on the issue of the contract agreement with a solution provider.

The PAC accused CBN of personalising the contract agreement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with REMITA thereby side-lining key stakeholders like the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General which ought to have been part of the contract agreement.

According to Rep. Sunday Umeha (LP, Enugu), “the process of engaging REMITA was not well followed. Why was the Accountant General Office not part of this agreement? How did they come on board? What is the foundation, the right, and legitimacy of the agreement? This agreement is not dated, we need to take a look at the validity,” he questioned 

It was also revealed that REMI]TA in the last 7 years collected the sum of N33.3 trillion and carted with the fees of N23.9 billion.

These revelations were made as the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) engaged the Accountant General of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement, System Spec, and others on Wednesday at the National Assembly.

The engagement was a sequel to its public hearing to investigate “The Alleged Revenue Leakages Through REMITA Platform and Non-Compliance Substantively with Standard Operating Procedure and other Allied Service Level Agreement 2023.”

Rep. Mathew Nwogu (LP,  Imo) also raised concern that the Ministry of Finance was not carried along in the agreement with REMITA.

The issue we are dealing with has to do with the collection of government revenue. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance, it is not understandable why the CBN was responsible. So far, I have not seen any role that the Ministry of Finance played in the contract.” 

Earlier, during his presentation, the Managing Director of REMITA, Deremi Atanda said, “The CBN appointed us on behalf of the Federal Government for the Treasury Single Account (TSA). For the past seven years (7) we have collected the sum of N33.3 trillion and our fees are N23.9 billion.”

Giving a breakdown of the revenue generated for the Federal Government through REMİTA in the last seven years he said, “In 2015 we collected N1.5 trillion; in 2016, N2.8 trillion; in 2017, N3.7 trillion; in 2018, N4.6 trillion; in 2019, N4.6 trillion; in 2020, N4.2 trillion being COVID-19 period; in 2021, N6 trillion; and, in 2022, N6.8 trillion.”

In his response, the representative of the Accountant General, Bello Mohammed, Director, Single Treasury Account said they were neither consulted nor part of the agreement due to a secular by the government at the time that excluded them.

“CBN was mandated to play such a role based on the TSA policy. I am not saying the circular denied us the right to be part of the signing of the contract of the REMİTA,” he said.

In another development, the Accountant General Office also told the PAC that the 2.5% revenue due to be paid to their account has not been received by the agency since 2020 to date.

Ruling on the matter, the PAC Chairman, Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun) summoned the Governor of the Central Bank, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Accountant General to unfailingly appear before the Committee on Tuesday, 20. February 2024.

“I am surprised the CBN governor is not here today. What it seems to me is that the CBN is not interested in the case of leakages in government,” he said.

Moving the motion for the summons, Rep. Billy Osawaru (APC, Edo) insisted that CBN, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Accountant General of the Federation must appear before the Committee.

“What is worth doing, is worth doing well. In our last meeting, we agreed that if documents are not made available to us within 48 hours then the agency should not be entertained. I hereby move a motion that before we entertain the CBN governor, the Attorney General of the Federation should appear before this Committee with relevant documents submitted before the stipulated time. I hereby move that the CBN must appear on Tuesday 20th February.”

Elizabeth Atime

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