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Revenue generation: CBN, NPA, others risk sanction

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Senate’s joint committee on Finance and National Planning has threatened to sanction heads of some revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government if they fail to appear before it on Thursday this week, to defend their positions as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP after being duly invited.

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This is even as the committee called for full blown investigation on the contract entered into by the Ministry of Interior with Continental Transfert Technique Limited ( CONTEC) for combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card ( CERPAC), which has been robbing the nation of billions of naira on yearly basis since 2007.

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The chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) made the threat while presiding at the beginning of a Five-Day Public Hearing on the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP which saw some heads of the agencies not appearing at all or sending in officers that cannot speak on revenue figures of their agencies with authority. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

“The 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP was sent to the Senate on July 20 for consideration by President Mohammadu Buhari preparatory to the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill.

In line with the desire to achieve early passage of the budget in tandem with the January-December budget cycle, the Senate referred the MTEF/FSP to the joint Committee for consideration even while members are on recess.

Consequently, any head of agencies that refused to appear before the Committee to defend figures it submitted as presented by the President of the Senate risks a zero allocation in the incoming budgets among other penalties” Senator Adeola threatened.

Among the agencies specifically mentioned at the Wednesday sitting by the committee whose heads are to appear unfailingly before it on Thursday, are Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers Council, Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) etc .

The committee had before the threat issued against heads of the absentee agencies, vowed to make the Senate carry out full blown investigation into alleged fraudulent contract the Ministry of Interior signed with CONTEC in 2007 on Residence permit for expatriates.

The entire members of the Committee were irked with submissions made by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede that CONTEC through the lopsided contract agreement, cornered a whopping N15 billion out of N20 billion realised in 2018 and N23 billion out of N40 billion realised in 2019 .

He said the Nigeria Immigration Service was already into discussion with the Ministry of Justice for necessary advice on the legal implications of the upward review of the resident permit fee from $1, 000 to $2, 000.

He said the Ministry of Justice is already looking at the modalities to pull out of the contract agreement.

It will be recalled that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) , Femi Falana had in March last year dragged CONTEC and Nigeria Ministry of Interior to court for stoppage of the alleged fraudulent contract.

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Falana had in the suit, challenged the constitutionality of the CERPAC contract to Contec as well as the upward review of the CERPAC fee from $1,000 to $2,000 last December.

In Nigeria, CERPAC is mandatory for expatriates. It allows them to live and work in the country.

According to Falana as stated in the suit , “To “fix and collect” CERPAC fee is a statutory responsibility of the Nigeria Immigration Service in line with sections 20 and 37 of the Immigration Act.”

The Joint Committee public hearing was attended by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu and over 20 members from the two Senate Committee with CONTEC.

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