Reps probe CBN over alleged $5 billion under remittance

Jigawa House of Assembly

The House of Representations is set to commence the probe of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged under-remittance of over $5 billion to the Federation Account.

Chairman of the ad-hoc committee investigating the issue, James Faleke, disclosed that members of the committee had already met to work out modalities to achieve the desired results.

He said ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would be summoned to render account of their roles in the alleged missing money.

Ayo Omidiran (APC, Osun), while moving a motion of urgent public importance, had alleged that the CBN as government banker failed to disclose the true state of the monthly financial flows into the Federation Account.

She also indicted the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for not reporting the alleged infractions by the CBN.

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Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, had announced the constitution of ad-hoc committee last week at plenary hence the committee began work by inviting the CBN and the Accountant General of the Federation, as the principal witnesses in the probe.

While moving the motion, Omidiran had lamented that the apex bank was not forthright on the issue.

Her words:  “The CBN takes advantage of this all important function of warehousing funds for government and preparation of the Federation Account statement, to manipulate the system by opening various accounts not known to government where funds are remitted, hidden, diverted and spent without authorisation.

“The CBN in 2006, opened various accounts with JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York, USA, to which International Oil Companies (IOCs) remit all revenues.

“The CBN still operates an account with Federal Reserve Bank of New York, USA, alongside that of JP Morgan Chase Bank from 2006 till date.

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According to her, CBN violated Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended by spending funds not appropriated by the National Assembly.

“The CBN takes 0.25 per cent of all foreign denominated revenue as exchange commission, but even after deducting the commission, the balance credited to the Federation Account at various times have been in negative difference against expectations, running into billions of naira yearly.

Meanwhile, Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Sam Onuigbo, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Climate Change Bill that has been passed by the National Assembly into law.