Reps allege non-remittance of $996m to TSA by banks

The House of Representatives yesterday alleged that the sum of $995.71 million was yet to be remitted to the treasury single account (TSA) by deposit money banks (DMBs) in defiance of the Federal Government’s directive.

Adopting report of the Danburam Nuhu Abubakar-led ad hoc committee probing the implementation of the policy, the chamber, presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, said the sum included the principal deposits and their accrued interests.

Besides, it claimed that N1.207 billion and € 23,704.01 were still to be credited the TSA by the financial institutions.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly also accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of engaging in extra budgetary expenses on the funding of the Brass LNG project to the tune of $331.72 million between 2012 and 2017.

The lawmakers bemoaned that whereas the gas project got an appropriation of $511.60 million, $461.54 million was actually released during the period under review.

“This shows the NNPC has received funds for above what was appropriated by the National Assembly for the Brass LNG project. This is justified by the fact that the outstanding amount not released ($708.29 million) held in the DMBs in Brass LNG investment account is higher than the total appropriation ($511.60 million) made so far for the Brass LNG project during the year under review,” they noted.

The House further indicted the corporation and the Federal Ministry of Environment of “hiding under the cover of presidential waivers to operate illegal accounts comprising joint venture (JV), escrow accounts, securitised and guarantee funds, NNPV operation accounts and NNPC pension funds with DMBs.”

The chamber claimed that NNPC’s operations account of $188,900,383.49 were currently domiciled in various banks.

It further alleged TSA infractions in three accounts held by the NNPC in a savings and loans firm and a new generation bank, adding that they comprise two accounts called NNPC PFL placement deposit with the third called NNPC pension fund account totalling N1,079,444,746.49.

The House also “discovered how the Federal Ministry of Environment, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme ((HYPREP) breached the TSA policy by operating an account called FMR HYPREP Account amounting to N1.1 billion and $4.9 million” in another new generation financial institution.

It, however, recommended the payment of N10 billion to Systemspecs – the payment software to many corporate organisations and the TSA.

The legislators submitted that based on interaction with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the Director of TSA acknowledged the total receipts of TSA as at April 2018 stood to include N9,782,682,923,739.17 and a consolidated balance of N547,493,970.50 while ministries, departments and agencies’ (MDAs) enrolment was 1,678.

The plenary therefore advised the Ministry of Finance and the OAGF as well as the CBN to intensify efforts at full implementation of the TSA, just as it called for the sanctioning of erring MDAs and strengthening of the initiative among others.