CBN gov faces Senate panel over missing $9.5m PPT fund

Godwin Emefiele

Barring any last-minute changes, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, along with top officials, are expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest accrued from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) investment.

The committee headed by Senator Mathew Uhroghide (PDP Edo South), had last week, summoned the officials of the apex bank over the alleged scandal as stated in the 2016 audit report by the office of Auditor General for the Federation.

As explained in the report, 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.

During consideration of the report by the committee last week, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, was unable to provide any documentary evidence on the alleged missing  fund which made the committee to summon the CBN Governor for required explanations on query issued to that effect.

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

“The funds which yielded  interests totaling $9.5 million in deposit account cannot be traced as  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/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD251,826 respectively.

“This suggest that the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year ended.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment,  rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

The  apex bank is also expected to give explanations on over N121 billion 2014 outstanding subsidy paid to Independent Petroleum Marketers in 2016.

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