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TSA probe: Give details of N1.5bn, $4.9m illegal bank deposits, Reps tell minister

By Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA—House of Representatives’ committee probing the status and management ofTreasury Single Account, TSA, yesterday, queried the lodgement of $4.9 million and N1.5 billion in an unnamed commercial bank without appropriate authorisation from the President.

Consequently, the special committee summoned Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, to appear before it and explain why such an account should be maintained by his ministry in the face of the government’s TSA policy.

File: House of Reps memebers

The committee members at the continued investigative hearing were appalled by the fact that N1.5 billion was deposited in the bank since March 2017 and another $4.9 million into a domiciliary account outside the TSA.

The Abubakar Nuhu Danburam-led adhoc-committee had queried why such large deposits were made in the commercial bank without the Presidency’s approval.

Instead, a letter signed on behalf of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, was presented as the authorisation for the operation of the non-TSA account.

A representative of the bank admitted before the committee that the bank erred, particularly when the money in the account did not generate any interest and withdrawn down to about N400 billion.

The bank official further explained:  “We listen to customers and what they tell us is exactly what we do, and in this direction, I know we erred”.

Inquest into the operation of the accounts outside the TSA by the Ministry had been ongoing in the House, with lawmakers wondering why the minister was foot-dragging and not forthcoming with needed explanations, especially as they pertained to the provision of a Presidential directive necessary for such action.

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