Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate, has said it would probe the activities of electronic payment platform, REMITA, over alleged illegal transactions in the handling of monies remitted into the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account, TSA, by government establishments.
At the Senate plenary on Wednesday, senators expressed concern that the transaction was contracted to the e-payment firm, REMITA, which was alleged to have collected a one per cent (1%) commission from the entire N2.5tn revenues paid into the TSA domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The senators also alleged that the one per cent payment translated to N25bn earned by REMITA from the transactions, adding that other payments are also still being made to to the firm.
The senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, who moved the motion to query the said firm said that REMITA is not a registered bank and that choosing it as an agent for the operation of TSA violated BOFIA 2007 and CBN Act.
He said: “The Senate observes that in the course of the operations of the TSA, the FG on the 15th of September, 2015 mopped up the sum of N2.5tn through its e-collection agent called REMITA which charges 1% of all monies passing through it, this amounted to N25bn largesse to REMITA for doing nothing.”
Senator Melaye added said that the appointment of REMITA as operation agent for the TSA was illegal because it contravened the constitution which says CBN should be the sole institution mandated to collect and disburse monies on behalf of the FG.
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, also described it as sabotage and advocated the need to compel the culprits to refund the money.
The Senate, on the strength of the argument, therefore mandated its Joint Committee on Finance, Banking and other financial institutions, and Public Account to carry out a holistic investigation into the transaction and report its findings within four weeks.
It also directed the Federal Ministry of Finance and the CBN to suspend forthwith, payment to the consultant firm, REMITA, pending the outcome of the investigation.
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