By Reuben Nwankwo.
Dr Baru, GMD of NNPC
The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC on Friday denied runing any opaque account with the commercial banks and therefore has neither $470.5m nor N8billion of its money hidden anywhere.
The state owned oil company was reacting to a sensational report by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris that its men helped to trace the money in some unidentified banks which according to him were kept to avoid the Treasury Single Account policy of government.
But the corporation said the police got their report mixed up.
In a Statement by spokesman Ndu Ughamadu, the the NNPC countered with an informed perspective about the money, dismissing the police angle as not only misplaced but equally misleading.
While confirming that a few commercial banks are yet to complete remittance of US dollar deposits to the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Ughamadu stated unequivocally that the Corporation had no funds hidden in any commercial bank.
He said the Presidency, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) were fully aware of, and received periodic status reports on balances yet to be remitted to TSA by commercial banks.
According to him, 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 and 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.
“On the purported recovery of N8 billion by the Nigeria Police Force, the Corporation is 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. In addition, no such funds have 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 our earlier position that NNPC will resist every attempt to subject these funds, which have been in the full view of Government, to five percent whistle blowing fees as this would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds.
“The NNPC noted that as an entity with fiduciary responsibility to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its commitment to transparency and accountability remains unwavering”.