By Omezia Ajayi
ABUJA—The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, SPIP, has announced the recovery of over N120 million from a commercial bank being excess charges on the accounts of three agencies of the federal government.
Head, Media and Communication of SPIP, Lucie-Ann , in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said the recovered money is the refund of what is owed to the Federal Government, as a result of excess and arbitrary charges imposed by the bank on accounts operated by some government agencies with the said bank before the introduction of Treasury Single Account TSA.
“The affected agencies include NNPC, NPA and NIMASA. The money has since been paid into the Panel’s TSA Recovery Account domiciled with Central Bank of Nigeria CBN”, she said.
According to the statement, the same bank has agreed to refund the sum of over $18.9 million to the federal government.
“In line with the Panel’s resolve to ensure that these recoveries do not create panic among bank customers, we again refrain from naming the bank in question”, she disclosed.
Vanguard recalls that the panel had assigned a team of financial experts, including forensic auditors to investigate the operations of government-owned accounts domiciled with commercial banks within the period of 2009–2015. The investigation had revealed some irregularities, including excess and arbitrary charges on those accounts, by many of the banks.
“Following this discovery, the Panel had issued demand notices to the affected banks, requesting them to refund to government the undue charges. SPIP has previously informed Nigerians of an earlier recovery of over N40 Million in a similar exercise from another commercial bank. The Panel is pleased to further report that many of the banks are responding favourably, therefore more recoveries are being expected.
“The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property SPIP remains committed to ensuring that all looted or misappropriated property including money belonging to the Nigerian people is recovered and returned to government, to be deployed for the development of our country”, the statement added.