Minister, AGF deny knowledge of CBN/Systemspecs revenue collection contract

The duo expressed concerns over issues of discrepancies and irregularities in the procurement process.

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Minister, AGF deny knowledge of CBN, Systemspecs, revenue collection contractThe Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Lateef Fagbemi and Minister of Finance, Mr Wale Edun have denied knowledge of contract entered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Systemspecs/Remita for revenue collection across MDAs.

The duo said this during the resumed investigative hearing by the House of Representatives Public Account Committee in Abuja on Thursday.

The revelation was sequel to the motion on ‘alleged revenue leakages through the Remita platform and non-compliance with the standard operating procedure and other allied service level agreements.”

BRANDPOWER reports that  Systemspecs is a financial technology company that has been providing Remita payment gateway for  majority of government payments since 2015.

The duo expressed concerns over issues of discrepancies and irregularities in the procurement process.

The AGF, represented by a Deputy Director, Yusuf Mohammed while responding, said the ministry was not aware of the contract.

“It is entirely honoured practice that all agreements that the Federal Executive Council agreed on must be vetted and cleared by the AGF.

“Then, it is another practice which is anchored on the Constitution that all agreements that commit the government to an amount up to N50 million and above,  have to be cleared and vetted by the  AGF.

“There is a circular on that. So, I don’t know if there is such an agreement, it could have passed through the Ministry of Justice, ” he said.

In his response, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Okokon Udo, said: “It is the office of the AGF that is in charge of receipts and payments.

” There was no physical payment expected from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). It was the CBN that provided the banking infrastructure and the platform through which the payment would be made.

“The agreement was between the CBN and the payment system provider, which is the SystemSpecs, there is no record that the Ministry of Finance signed an agreement with the Consultant who provides the platform.”

The Chairman of the committee, said from the record, it did not see the signature of the Accountant General.

“Will you consider this as standard practice that an agreement that touches on collection of revenue for the government running into several trillions of naira,  should be executed without the approval of the Federal ministry of finance?

BRANDPOWER reports that  N34.311 trillion revenue was generated through REMITA platform into the Federation Account between 2015 and 2022.