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Senate Gives CBN Governor 72 hours To Honour Invitation

Godwin

Godwin Emefiele

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele has been given 72 hours to appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts over the alleged disappearance of $9.5million interest that was accrued from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) investment.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, had complained that the principal sum deposited, tenor, and rate of interest on the transaction were shrouded in secrecy.

Petroleum Profit tax (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.

Urhoghide said there were many issues Emefiele needed to respond to corroborate some statements of account.

He added that the apex bank had till next tomorrow to appear the committee to address the issues.

Recall that the committee had two weeks ago summoned CBN officials over alleged disappearance of the fund.

Neither Emefiele nor his representative appeared before the committee during its sitting yesterday.

The summon was sequel to the consideration of a report by Auditor-General for the Federation, which audits the  spending of Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies.

The Auditor General of the Federation had in his 2016 audit report queried the transaction.

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

“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 of 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, the tenor of the investment, rate of interest payable, certificate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

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