Niger Assembly Frowns At State Government Over Payment of N74.3M to Consultants

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Niger state House of Assembly has frowned at the payment of N74.3 million to consultants by the state government declaring the move as unhealthy for the state.

According to a report of the House Finance Committee on the finances of the state between January to June 2016, the Assembly said that the engagement of consultants which is suppose to improve the revenue of the state is worsening the situation.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Abdullahi Mammagi while presenting the report to members said that out of N2,427,385,481 collected between January to June, the sum of N74, 356,699 went to Consultants (Cogenmt and Curtville).

He said that the figure was further depleted by 10 per cent amounting to N242,535,538 to local government councils in the state while another 10 per cent went to the Board of Internal Revenue as incentive on monthly basis.

“This situation is unhealthy for the state and unacceptable. The engagement of consultants which is supposed to improve the revenue of the state is worsening the situation. The arrangement where a consultant engaged in a specific area is paid a percentage of the total collection is fraudulent.

“It have been observed that 60 per cent of the state internally generated revenue comes from PAYE which does not necessarily require the services of a consultant but consultants engaged were paid a percentage from the consolidated receipts.”

The Assembly expressed dismay over the poor performance of the state’s IGR despite seeming reforms o improve the revenue base of the state adding that of the expected revenue of about N4.5 billion, only N2.4 was collected, “infact, there is no significant improvement as to what obtains in the past.”

The Committee noted that the state government received N31.6 billion and disbursed N26.6 billion between January and June 2016 stating that N424.6 million was mopped up from the implementation of partial Treasury Single Accounts (TSA).

In its recommendation, the Committee called for the reorganization of the Board of Internal Revenue in order for it to operate professionally calling for the restriction of the engagement of consultants to areas requiring technical skills and solutions.

Source: newsdiaryonline.com

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