Nigerian Senate Uncovers N14.7billion Belonging To Defunct Firm, PHCN, Hidden In Banks

Nigerian Senate Uncovers N14.7billion Belonging To Defunct Firm, PHCN, Hidden In Banks

The sum of N14.7billion proceeds of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) hidden in commercial banks by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) has been uncovered by a Senate panel.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee unravel the hidden proceed in commercial banks as at December 31, 2016, whereas, the privatisation on PHCN had been concluded since 2013, relying on the report of 2017 auditor general’s report.

However, the BPE in its written submission said: “Two separate sums of N3.231,984.73 (allegedly held in Fidelity Bank PLC) and N18.199,520.87 (held in Stanbic Bank PLC) are unaudited bank balances that were actually no longer in existence as at the date of the audited financial statements or asked questions, the matter would have been clarified.

“With respect to the two other bank balances N4.4 billion (Access Bank PLC) and N10.2 billon in First City Monument Bank (FCMB); the correct balance in Access Bank as at December 31, 2016 was NIL as the bank had transferred a swelled balance of $34.1 million to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) domiciliary account.

“The bank had initially been unable to make the transfer as at September 2015 as required under TSA policy, owing to the non-existence of designated USD Treasury Single Account for dollar balances. 

“The balance in the FCMB Bank as at December 31, 2016 was only $36,053.55 following a transfer of $65,088,198.53.

“The residual balance balance remained until May 18, 2017 due to inability of the bank to remit as required under the TSA policy owing to initial unavailability of designated TSA for USD balances as required under the then newly introduced policy.”

The query reads: “Audit verification and reconciliation revealed that the sum of 14,720,396,432.43 being proceeds from the privatisation exercise of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was reported in the Bureau’s Trial Balance to be in commercial bank accounts as at December 31, 2016. 

“Whereas, the privatisation of PHCN was concluded in 2013, the proceeds are yet to be remitted to CBN Privatisation Proceeds Accounts. 

“The issue has been communicated to the Bureau via letter reference No. OAuGF/RESAD/05/2016/07 dated April 19, 2018 and no response has been received.  

“Unauthorised funds kept in commercial banks may be diverted for other purposes, thereby leading to loss of revenue available for government programmes.  

“The director general is required to recover the sum of N14,720,396,432.43 being proceeds of PHCN and remit same to CRF and forward evidence of remittance to my office for audit confirmation.”


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