Senate Summons Emefiele Over an Alleged Disappearance of $9.5m

The Senate Public Accounts Committee has again given the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, up till Thursday, to appear before it over an alleged disappearance of $9.5m interest which accrued to the Federation Account from Petroleum Profit Tax Investment.

During its sitting on Monday, the Senate Committee, which is currently scrutinising the reports of the AuGF alleged that the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest, were shrouded in secrecy.

The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said the CBN governor was being invited to corroborate some figures in the statement of account.

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He said the CBN governor had till Thursday this week to appear to address those issues before the committee.

The Petroleum Profit Tax is 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.

The committee had penultimate week summoned the officials of the apex bank over alleged disappearance of the fund.

No management staff of the apex bank honoured the lawmakers’ invitation.

The summon was sequel to the consideration of the AuGF report which probed the spending of federal government’s agencies.

The report read, “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 $6m and $3.5m were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on funds’ investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5m in deposit account, 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/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as at 28th December 2016 were $0.00 and $251,826 respectively.”

It added, “This suggested that the foreign PPT/Royalty was depleted before the year end.”