Tax remittances worth over 150 billion Naira has accrued to Nigeria’s Federation Account for the year 2014, a government official said on Tuesday.
The Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, gave the figure at a meeting with the Accountant-General of the Federation in Abuja.
Ambassador Yuguda said that the tax revenues far exceeded the 75 billion Naira target of the the year.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, stressed the need to grow the nation’s non-oil sectors in order to obtain a full diversification of the economy away from oil sector.
He also advised the government to cut down spending as part of austerity measure amidst dwindling oil price.
Nigeria is making efforts to diversify the economy, shifting it away from dependence on crude oil sales to agriculture.
Prior to the discovery of crude in the nation’s south-south region, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy and the government says transformation in the agriculture is an agenda that it must achieve.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla have both denied having any knowledge of details of operation at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC with JP Morgan.
This was revealed on Monday at the continued probe of the fuel subsidy scheme.
The chairman of the panel, Senator Magnus Abe, declared that the JP Morgan account, where proceeds from the sale of crude oil kept unconstitutional and illegal.
He maintained that all revenue accruing to the federation account must be paid into the Federation Account in line with the provision of Section 80 (1) and (4) of the Constitution.
The Minister of Finance denied knowing the account number of the JP Morgan account saying the Ministry only has access to accounts within its jurisdiction.
The new GMD of NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu, while admitting he had knowledge of the account said the JP Morgan account is not managed by the NNPC.
The committee directed the Minister of Finance to liaise with the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Maduekwe, to immediately stop the operation of the account.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also revealed that the federal government has paid N451billion for subsidy as at June this year.