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Reps panel uncovers N300bn in commercial banks, MDAs

House of Representatives chamber

The House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on the recovery of N1.2 trillion unclaimed funds in commercial banks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said it has uncovered over N300 billion since the start of its investigation.

Chairman of the Committee, Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom) disclosed this yesterday after a session with Citi Bank and officials of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).

He said the Committee was mandated after a resolution of the House on January 26th, to investigate and recover the N1.2 trillion due to the federal government, hanging in commercial banks, MDAs and other places.

According to him, the funds are trapped in dormant bank accounts in domestic and foreign currencies, accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN), failed contracts, excess unremitted funds and a host of others.

Earlier, Idem informed the management team of Citi Bank that the Bank owed a total of N99 billion out of the N1.2 trillion being owed the federal government by about 500 entities, including commercial banks, MDAs and others.

He presented a list of accounts that were holding such funds in Citi Bank, which its officials needed to explain.

The funds are trapped in dormant bank accounts in domestic and foreign currencies, accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN), failed contracts, excess unremitted funds and others.

Members of the committee who made observations, specifically asked the officials to explain the status of accounts belonging to ABS Ltd, Global Offshore Ltd, and Titan Energy Ltd, which they said were holding funds in both Naira and Dollars.

However, the Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Citi Bank, Ngozi Omoke-Enyi, said the letter sent by the Committee with specific requirements had been complied with.

She also disclosed that the bank had submitted seven accounts without BVN to the Committee.

But the Committee insisted that based on the documents submitted by the bank, they extracted more than seven accounts that needed to be scrutinised.

After the deliberation, the Citi Bank officials were told to reconcile their accounts and appear again for clarifications.

While addressing NIPC officials, the Committee said according to their records, the Council owed the federal government N5.2 billion in unremitted revenue, operating surplus and other funds from 2015 to 2021.

The Director of Finance, NIPC, James Akwa, who appeared before the Committee sought an extension of time to reconcile their accounts, saying that the Council made only two remittances due to outstanding issues they had since 2016.

The Committee, therefore, granted the NIPC one week to reconcile and reappear before it next Wednesday.

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