The House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee has queried the N15bn payment made to Remita from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for two years.

This is just as the committee accused the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks of complicity in the sharing of the N15bn remittance.

The committee’s Chairman, Bamidele Salam, made the allegation at the resumed investigative hearing on revenue leakages in Abuja on Thursday.

Remita is a payment solution that helps individuals and businesses make and receive payments, pay bills, and manage their finances.

Salam said that the Remita payment from the OAGF from 2016 to 2018 was questionable, adding that the OAGF paid the money without agreement or contract.

“The money is an illegal payment. There was no budget provision. So, where did they source the money from?” the chairman queried.

“If someone pays N150,000 as a Remita, you will pay 7.5 per cent Value-Added Tax in addition to it.

“Ordinarily, that whole sum of VAT ought to go to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, but what they are doing in this transaction is that they will now add that VAT to the N150.000.

“They will add it up, gather the money together, and take it to the CBN,” he claimed.

He said, “System Spec and Remitta, both collecting revenue for the Federal Government, will share 50 per cent, while the banks and the CBN will also have their share.”

He said that by the time the committee finished its reconciliation, “I am very sure that hundreds of billions of naira will be the VAT component that was not remitted to FIRS.”

Salam stated that each bank ought to take the money and directly remit it to FIRS.

“Now, Remita is saying that each of those collecting the money will come and calculate the money that has been shared into shreds. Now, how do we track this kind of money? “he asked.

The Director, Banking Services, CBN, Mr.Ahmed Abdullahi, said it was necessary to source for an alternative way of remitting revenue, adding that Remita and System Spec were selected because they had been rendering similar services to banks.

The Chief Accountant, Treasury Single Account Department, Oyewole Adewale, representing the Accountant-General of the Federation, accused the CBN of not honouring its letters to reconcile the revenue accrued to the country through the Treasury Single Account.

He noted that the OAGF had developed a system where all revenue generated by the Ministries of Departments and Agencies of Government could now be monitored with little or no interference.

The Director, Remita Payment Services Ltd, Aderemi Atanda, while reading the summary of the TSA collection record, maintained that 10, 20, and 50 per cent were shared among CBN, commercial banks, and Remitta respectively.

Collections, he noted, often vary, saying, “In 2015 to 2016, it was N4.2 million, and the fee paid was N8.5 billion. In 2016, N1.3 billion was paid.”