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Again, Senate panel summons CBN gov over ‘missing’ $9.5m

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Senate Public Accounts Committee has given the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, up till Thursday, to appear before it over the alleged disappearance of $9.5m interest which accrued to the Federation Account from Petroleum Profit Tax Investment.

The SPAC, which is currently scrutinising the reports of the AuGF alleged during its sitting on Monday that the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest, were shrouded in secrecy.

The Petroleum Profit Tax is 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.

Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said the CBN Governor was being invited to corroborate some figures in the statements of account. CBN Governor has till Thursday this week to appear to address those issues before the Committee.

The committee had penultimate week, summoned the officials of the apex bank over alleged disappearance of the fund. No management staff of the apex bank honoured the lawmakers’ invitation, Punch reported.

The summon was sequel to the consideration of the AuGF report which probed the spendings of federal government’s agencies.

“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/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD251,826 respectively.

“This suggests the foreign PPT/Royalty 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, certificate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verifications”.

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