In the era of perennial shortfall in the revenue side of federal government’s budget proposals, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), which recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of its establishment, stands out as one of the few agencies that regularly and unfailingly remit billions of Naira into the federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The Consolidated Revenue Fund is the main account used by the federal government in financing both capital and recurrent expenditures to provide public goods – roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, subsidy for agriculture for citizens to afford foodstuff, and of course, in paying salaries and allowances for government workers, including the security forces.
Although the main highlights of the 30th anniversary ceremonies included reporting successes in ensuring that depositors in banks do not lose their money; penalizing banks that breached extant rules and regulations designed to ensure the safety of money in their custody and the liquidation of 33 banks, what fascinated me most was outside the speeches read during the anniversary events.
All I did was to practice a bit of data journalism by digging into the annual reports of the deposit insurance entity for a single piece of information: the amount of operating surplus it remits to the CRF annually with the sole aim of extracting that information and bringing it to public knowledge in a new context.
The result clearly shows that the NDIC has been consistent in obeying the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 by remitting billions of Naira into the Consolidated Revenue Fund after meeting its operational expenses. For instance, the NDIC remitted N53.199 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 2018, which was more than twice the N22.767 billion it remitted in 2017. That means the NDIC remitted a whopping N75.966 billion to the CRF in 24 months.
To spare the reader of the need to go through all the figures, the NDIC remitted the sum of N104.26 billion into the consolidated revenue fund from 2007 to 2016. In 2016 alone, under the watch of Umaru Ibrahim as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, the amount was N34.89 billion in 2016.
The significance of remitting this money lies in its potential utility for the citizens and residents of Nigeria when it is used in the provision of services as indicated in an earlier paragraph. It also shows that the country is not short of public officers in the mould of those in charge of the NDIC, who are prudent and honest in generating and applying public funds positively.
The remittance of operating surplus into the Consolidated Revenue Fund has been an issue for many years. This is because many revenue generating agencies delay or fail to remit theirs to the extent that former Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, convened meetings to convince or literally arm-twist recalcitrant Chief Executives of 17 of the agencies to remit the surplus totaling N450 billion.
A handful of other organisations such as the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have substantially been compliant, but the case of NDIC is most outstanding.
There are 31 government agencies that are required to remit operating surpluses to the CRF as listed at Schedule Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Establishment Act. However, the Minister for Finance added more agencies making a total of 122.