Senate tackles SEC over N10.3b spent to pay salaries of 600 staff

Muiltimillion dollar power deal: Senate not after Osibanjo, Fashola, others…Asks SEC to remit N300m to the consolidated account

…Directs accountant general to conduct status audit on NSCDC

By Henry Umoru

THE Senate Tuesday took a swipe at the Director- General, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Lamido Yuguda over what it described as ridiculous and unacceptable, spending of a whopping sum of N10.3 Billion to pay salaries of its staff strength of 600.

Consequently, the Senate while lampooning the huge sum to the tune of N10.3 Billion expended on only 600 Staff, said there must be a thorough audit of staff of the Commission with a view to ascertaining whether or not there are ghost workers.

The Senate disclosed this while presenting NTA’s projections on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2021 to 2023 before the Senator Olamilekan Adeola, All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos West led Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning Stakeholders on the  details of the 2021and 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) forwarded last month by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, the Senate asked the DG to look inward and tell the Management that it will not be business as usual, adding that the present situation where over N10 billion was spent to pay salaries of 600 was not sustainable as the government must be prudent and save money.

In his remarks, Yuguda noted that reducing the top heavy workforce in SEC would mean that the severance package of those to be laid off has to be paid.

Also, the Senate asked the SEC DG,  Yuguda to ensure that  he remits the sum of N300million into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account of the Federal Government on or before Thursday this week.

He was also mandated to ensure that the Commission remits the sum of N1 billion to the Consolidated Account next year as part of moves to fund the Budget deficit.

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Senator Adeola who spoke yesterday during the interactive session said: “I will implore the DG of SEC to within today and Thursday next week, remit at least N300million to the coffers of the consolidated revenue fund.

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“The DG said the SEC generated a total revenue of N8.358bn in 2019 while it is expecting only N5.478bn and projecting N8.3bn in 2021.

“SEC should not pay less than N1bn to the CRF account in 2021. SEC, you have a staff strength of 600 and a wage bill of N10.3bn annually, amounting to N15.7million per person annually. You are indeed, top heavy. You have to work on this.”

In his contribution,  Senator Gabriel Suswam, PDP,  Benue North East who noted that said  SEC is projecting a total revenue of N8.3bn in 2021, said: “Your expenditure is N14.4bn which means you have a deficit of N6.1bn. You said you are top heavy. Now there are lots of young men who are on the street who are qualified and ready to work.

“The salary of just one person from the top heavy management staff that you have can pay five young people who have the qualification and capacity to do the job.

“When you do that instead of generating N8bn and incurring deficit of N6.1bn, it is as good as your organization does not exist.”

Also yesterday, the Senate  directed the Auditor General of the Federation, to conduct a status enquiry on the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Speaking on the NSCDC, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, PDP, Ondo Central noted that every agency of government must make contributions to the CRF especially at this period that the Federal Government needs money to fund its budget.

Akinyelure who called on the NSCDC to review its fees and levies being paid by private guard 100 per cent  upward because the nation needs money to fund its budget, said, “As far as we are concerned, the Accountant General has confirmed that the NSCDC does not have access to what they are collecting but that it goes straight to the TSA (Treasury Single Account).”

The co-Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, APC, Ekiti North who asked the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Mohammadu to account for revenue it often realize from executive guard services rendered by its operatives, also requested  to know what happens to items confiscated by the paramilitary outfit during its operations.

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In his response, the NSCDC’s CG Mohammadu, who noted that only allowances were paid to operatives where the such services are being rendered, said that confiscated items are usually auctioned after being valued by the Ministry of Works.

Adeola however called on the Auditor General of the Federation to conduct a status enquiry on the NSCDC “because we need to know the true position of things.

“You (CG of NSCDC) will need to appear again before the panel next week and we would mandate the Auditor General of the Federation to carry out a status enquiry on the activities of the NSCDC as far as revenue is concerned.

“The Auditor General of the Federation should direct a status enquiries on the NSCDC because we need to know the true position of things. You will need to appear again before the panel next week and we would mandate the Accountant General of the Federation to carry out a status enquiry on the activities of the NSCDC as far as revenue is concerned.”

On his part, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris who explained that there are differences between money which accrued to an agency and an incidental money that will come to it from time to time, said, “We need to find out into which account does the NCDC remit revenues for confiscated items to. Revenue from confiscated items were not given to the NSCDC as a target.

“There are differences between money which accrued to an agency and an incidental money that will come to it from time to time. We need to find out into which account does the NCDC remit revenues for confiscated items to. Revenue from confiscated items were not given to the NSCDC as a target.

Vanguard

The post Senate tackles SEC over N10.3b spent to pay salaries of 600 staff appeared first on Vanguard News.

LT Staff

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