Uche Usim, Abuja
The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), has lampooned the management of Maritime Academy (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, for refusing to remit its operating surplus into Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) as stated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The Acting Chairman of FRC, Victor Muruako, while speaking at the interface between agencies under the supervision of the commission reminded the management of MAN that it was mandated to remit its operating surplus after the end of the year to the Federation Account.
He noted that the commission, as one of the key government agencies saddled with the responsibility of improving on the independent revenue of the Federal Government, was unhappy with the development.
“As such, all the 122 scheduled corporations, as directed by the Minister of Finance, must key into this provision to improve on revenue generation that would be useful in executing the budget.
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 mandated our commission to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under our supervision remit operating surplus as well as audited account for accountability and transparency in public finance and any corporation that flouts this provision will be reported to the Attorney General of the Federation,” he maintained.
Muruako added that the uncooperative attitude of the academy to remit operating surplus over the years calls for concern, stating that he had no option than to ask Legal, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of the commission to move in and compel the institution to comply with the provisions of FRA.
Responding, the representative of the Rector of MAN, Oron, Dr. John Adeyanju, apologised on behalf of the Rector for his inability to make it to the meeting, stating that the new management of the academy takes inter-agency relationships very seriously, even as he assured that going forward, the partnership will improve. He said the delay in responding to the commission was due to the Interim Management Committee whose tenure was not stable.
For his part, the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation of the commission, Mr. Ola Tijani, pointed out some irregularities on how the academy’s accounts were prepared, saying the commission needs to beam its searchlight on how the budget was prepared and a breakdown of items in it.
He said as long as government finances its budget, it has the obligation under the FRA to remit operating surplus yearly, forward its audited account to the commission and present its Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).