NNPC denies hiding $470.5 million, N8 billion in commercial banks

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says it has no hidden 470.5 million dollars and N8 billion in any commercial bank as alleged by the Nigerian police.

The NNPC in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja on Friday, explained that the allegation was not only misplaced but equally misleading.

He stated that the corporation had no funds hidden in any commercial bank as the Presidency, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria are fully aware of.

According to Ughamadu, the AGF and CBN receive periodic status reports on balances yet to be remitted to TSA by commercial banks.

“Following TSA implementation, the Corporation had made a report to the Presidency on the failure of some commercial banks to complete transfer of US dollar deposits.

“A Presidential directive was issued for the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the funds were completely transferred to the Corporation’s Treasury Single Account in US dollars.

“Most of the commercial banks have since complied with the Presidential directive and completed transfer to the Corporation’s Treasury Single Account in US dollars, including the reported $470.5 million,’’ he said.

On the purported recovery of N8 billion by the Nigeria Police Force, he said the corporation was not aware of any change in the subsisting Presidential directive to the effect that all of the US dollar balances must be transferred to NNPC’s CBN Treasury Single Account in US dollars.

He noted that no such funds had been deposited into the corporation’s CBN Treasury Single Account,“Consequently, NNPC’s record of the US dollar funds still yet to be transferred by a few commercial banks cannot reflect the said recovery.

“While the Central Bank of Nigeria executes the Presidential directive to ensure complete transfer of US dollar funds to the Corporation’s CBN Treasury Single Account, it is pertinent to reiterate that NNPC will resist every attempt to subject these funds, which have been in the full view of Government, to five per cent whistleblowing fees,’’ he added.

This, he said, would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds.

Ughamadu said that the NNPC as an entity with fiduciary responsibility to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its commitment to transparency and accountability remained unwavering.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Police Force on Thursday said it had succeeded in recovering monies belonging to the NNPC Brass/LNG Investment, which were supposed to be deposited in the Treasury Single Accounts of the federal government.

According to a statement by the police, the money includes “$470,519,889.10 belonging to NNPC Brass LNG Investment hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the federal government on TSA’’.

The statement also alleged that recovered by the police was the sum of N8,807,264,834.96 belonging to NNPC/Brass Investment that was not remitted to TSA Account of the federal government

(NAN)

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