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Reps probe non-remittance of N5.6bn by FMBN

House of Representative members has mandated its Committees on Finance, Housing and Urban Development and Regional Planning to investigate allegations of non-remittance of tax to the value N5.6 billion by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The mandate of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to investigate the non-remittance of N5.6 billion to the FIRS by FMBN, sponsored by Ossai Nicholas Ossa and Victor Nwokolo.

Mr Ossai alleged that between 2011 and 2015, the bank generated a total revenue of N44.073 billion, with N13.17 billion of it having been generated in 2015 but it failed to remit Value Added Tax (VAT) collections of N2.2 billion to FIRS.

According to him, during the same period, the FMBN also defaulted in remittance of Withholding Tax deductions to FIRS to the tune of N3.4 billion.

Citing Section 40 of the FIRS Act, which specifies a penalty of 10 per cent on withheld or un-remitted tax by any defaulter after 30 days from the date of default, the lawmakers also stressed the importance of recovering the un-remitted sum of N5.6 billion from the bank for injection into the ailing economy.

He expressed concern that due to poor service culture of successive management of the bank, “there had been unimaginable high volume of non-performance of 70  percent of its risk assets, thus resulting in sharp erosion of its capital structure and the National Housing Fund deposits.”

Ossai equally alleged that the mismanagement of the bank has led to huge administrative expenditure to the extent that its annual average of staff maintenance is N4 billion, while directors fees and expenses are on the average of N200 million annually.

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When put up for a voice vote by Speaker  Yakubu Dogara, the motion was unanimously passed, with the joint committee given four weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action.

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