House of Representatives investigates revenue leaks through payment platforms

The House of Representatives has ordered the Public Accounts Committee to investigate revenue leakage, non-compliance with standard operating procedures, and other irregularities related to the Remita remote payment platform.

The resolution to investigate Remita was passed on Wednesday following the adoption of a motion titled “Calls to investigate the leakage and remittance failures of revenue generated through the Remita platform.”

The motion was sponsored by House of Representatives Jeremiah Umar (APC, Nasarawa) and House of Representatives Jafar Gambo (APC, Bauchi).

Mr Umar, who led the debate on the motion, said Nigeria’s main challenge was revenue generation, not expenditure.

“Remita is a software and financial services platform owned by System-Specs, a private company responsible for managing government revenue. It has served as the gateway to the federal government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) since 2012. It was fully adopted in 2015 and has been used to collect government revenue for many years,” Umar said.

He added that over N8.7 trillion was processed through the Remita platform prior to its implementation, adding that prior to the TSA policy, the Nigerian government operated over 15,000 bank accounts across various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). He said that he had done so.

According to Umar, this proliferation of accounts moves from deposit banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria and allows MDAs to create multiple sub-accounts, undermining the purpose of the TSA policy.

He also noted the contribution of the TSA system to promoting a cashless economy, increasing transparency, and facilitating effective tracking of cash assets with accountability.

However, he warned that the system does not adequately address revenue leakage and abuse arising from the proliferation of CBN sub-accounts.

Mr. Umar also stated that 1% of the funds raised will be charged as a fee for using the Remita platform, with a split of 50% between SystemSpecs (owner), Deposit Money Banks (processor) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (license issuer). He also mentioned that it will be shared. :40:10, respectively, consider this alarming and unacceptable.

He also expressed concern that continued revenue leakage, along with non-compliance with SOPs and SLAs, will hamper the government’s ability to meet the growing demand for good governance and infrastructure development from the people.

“If this scenario continues unabated, the government will continue to experience revenue shortfalls, which will leave the government unable to meet the growing demands of the people for good governance and infrastructure development. We are concerned that some depository banks have developed a habit of delaying remittances to the Central Bank of Nigeria or depleting collected revenues,” Umar added.


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