The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has recovered a total of N57.7 billion from banks as unremitted revenues collected on behalf of the Federal Government.

The banks had, based on audits by the government, failed to remit N74.1 billion to government coffers between July 2012 and December 2015.

A press brief issued by the Commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ibrahim Mohammed, quoted the acting chairman, Umar Gana, as disclosing this Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the acting chairman, the commission has also issued demand notices to the banks for the immediate remittance of the outstanding N16.4 billion.

Gana said while N48.7 billion of the recovered money had been paid into the Federation Account, N9.07 billion relating to Withholding Tax (WHT) on dividend only had been released to the benefitting states’ Boards of Internal Revenue.

It would be recalled that the RMAFC had in 2016 selected 111 auditors and auditing firms out of more than 150 that applied to probe the banks for non-remittance of taxes and duties collected on behalf of the Federal Government.

The probe of the banks covered collections from July 2012 to December 2015.

The probe was sequel to a similar exercise where the banks had been investigated for revenues collected between January 2008 and June 2012. The exercise proved that the banks failed to remit N12 billion collected in taxes and duties on behalf of the revenue collecting agencies.

Following the success of the first exercise, the National Economic Council (FEC), at its meeting on April 21, 2016 approved that the RMAFC should appoint consultants to ensure wide coverage in the verification of the activities of the banks in respect of the revenues collected with a view to determining the remittances.

Analysts believe that the first exercise covered only selected branches of the banks and that more revenues collected would have been discovered if it was extended to all the branches of the various banks.

It was against this background that the RMAFC advertised for the consultancy job in the July 24, 2016 edition of the Federal Tenders Journal and more than 150 applied from which 111 were selected.

Gana disclosed that in the course of the exercise, the commission had to seek the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission following the uncooperative attitude earlier exhibited by some revenue generating agencies and the collecting banks.

He reiterated the commission’s resolve to follow up on the outstanding balance of N16.4 billion in liabilities established, whose demand notices were issued to banks but had yet to be defrayed.

The banks were appointed to collect revenues on behalf of Federal Inland Revenue Services, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources.