CBN to appear before Senate over alleged missing $9.5m

 Barring any last minute changes, officials of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are expected to appear before Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest which accrued from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) investment.

According to chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the principal sum deposited, tenor and rate of interest of the investment were shrouded in secrecy.

The PPT is a tax applicable to upstream operations in the oil industry.

It is particularly related to rents, royalties, margins and profit sharing elements associated with oil mining, prospecting and exploration leases.

The Committee last week summoned the officials of the apex bank over alleged disappearance of the fund.

The summon was sequel to the panel’s consideration of a report by Auditor-General for the Federation, which audited the accounts of Federal Government’s agencies.

During the hearing last week, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, was unable to provide any documentary evidence on the said fund.

The Committee, angered by the development, invited the CBN to explain issues raised in the Auditor-General’s report.

The report had said: “During the examination of transfers to Foreign Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts, it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on funds investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 million in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were not made available for audit verification.

“This observation had also been a subject of my reports since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD251,826 respectively.

“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

In a similar vein, the Senate panel also summoned the apex bank over N121 billion outstanding fuel subsidy for 2014 said to have been paid to Independent Petroleum Marketers in 2016.

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