15 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclaimed the allegation that its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had ever stated in any fora that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, “directed the Corporation to keep the sum of N50billion away from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
A statement signed by the Group General Manager, group Public Relations of the Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu noted that, “NNPC wishes to state that the allegation is baseless, and is a clear misrepresentation of the truth. An online publication made the allegation recently.
Ughamadu noted that, “By virtue of the operations of the NNPC, the Corporation had made series of compelling cases to the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow certain categories of accounts operate outside the TSA, as they contain co-mingled funds governed by detailed agreements with local and international implications.
“NNPC equally wishes to state that while these necessary approvals sought by the NNPC were graciously given by the Presidency, the Chief of Staff merely conveyed the notice of these approvals to the Corporation.
“In the same vein, members of the relevant committee of the National Assembly have requested for copies of such approvals, which were duly provided by the Corporation.”
According to the statement, “To claim that the Chief of Staff single-handedly approved these exemptions was not only unfair, but is a complete misrepresentation of facts to mislead the general public.”
Sweetcrude Reports reported on Thursday that the House of Representatives had uncovered how the NNPC flouted the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy by depositing over N50 billion in various commercial banks.
Consequently, it summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Baru, to appear before its ad hoc committee probing implementation of the policy next week Wednesday.
The committee, led by Rep. Abubakar Nuhu Danburam, also directed the NNPC to produce proof the breach was carried out with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The directive came after a member of the committee, Rep. Simon Arabo, questioned the genuineness of a letter purportedly signed by Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, conveying Buhari’s consent to lodge the amount in commercial banks.
Another member of the committee, Rep. Edward Pwajok, maintained it was mandatory Kyari appeared before the committee, given the seriousness of the issue.
“We need to see the evidence of the directive. As an investigative committee, we need to get to the bottom of the issue, as to whether it was in line with the provisions of the constitution or extant regulations,” said Pwajok.
Though Danburam failed to rule on Kyari’s appearance, he directed the chief executive officers (CEOs) of all the country’s commercial banks to appear before the committee next week Wednesday to explain their roles in warehousing the money.
The directive followed a revelation by an official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Dipo Fatokun, who testified before the lawmakers that implementation of the TSA policy was yet to score 100 percent compliance.
Fatokun who promised to present a reconciliation report after engaging commercial banks, in conjunction with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation by the end of this month, specifically cited the amount under the NNPC Joint Venture accounts yet to be captured under the TSA policy.
He claimed that part of the N50 billion might have been withheld by some of the commercial banks due to litigation involving the NNPC. He also hinted that money belonging to the judiciary and the National Assembly was lodged in commercial banks in defiance of the policy.
In this article