The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has denied media reports alleging that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) recovered $470.5 million and N8 billion of the corporation’s funds hidden in commercial banks.
It said it runs a transparent account which the Presidency, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were fully aware of and receive periodic status reports on balances yet to be remitted to Treasury Single Account (TSA) by commercial banks.
The Nigeria Police Force had claimed that the monies belonging to NNPC Brass Liquefied Natural Gas were hidden in some commercial banks and not remitted to the treasury single account in violation of the Federal Government’s directives.
According to the police, “The sum of Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cent ($470,519,889.10) belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA.
“The sum of Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN8,807,264,834.96) monies belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT, that was not remitted to TSA Account of the Federal Government was also recovered,” the Police had said in a statement.
But in a statement issued on Friday by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation said although a few commercial banks were yet to complete remittance of US dollar deposits to the TSA, it noted that it had no funds hidden in any commercial bank.
The state oil firm explained that the allegation was not only misplaced but equally misleading.
According to Ughamadu, following the implementation of TSA, 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 CBN to ensure that the funds were completely transferred to the corporation’s TSA in US dollars.
“Most of the commercial banks have since complied with the Presidential directive and completed 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.
“Consequently, NNPC’s record of the US dollar funds still yet to be transferred by a few commercial banks cannot reflect the said recovery.
“While the Central Bank of Nigeria executes the Presidential directive to ensure complete transfer of US dollar funds to the Corporation’s CBN TSA, 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 whistle blowing fees as this would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds,” he said.