By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, described as misplaced and misleading, allegations by the Nigeria Police that it had recovered $470 million and N8 billion of the corporation’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, fund stashed in some commercial banks.
The NNPC, in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the record of the US dollar funds still yet to be transferred by a few commercial banks cannot reflect the said recovery.
Ughamadu, however, confirmed that a few commercial banks were yet to complete remittance of US dollar deposits to the Treasury Single Account TSA, but noted that the corporation had no funds hidden in any commercial bank.
According to him, 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.
He said, “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 the 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.”
Ughamadu noted that as an entity with fiduciary responsibility to the government and people of Nigeria, the NNPC’s commitment to transparency and accountability remained unwavering.
“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 whistleblowing fees as this would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds,” the NNPC warned.