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Senate gives CBN gov 72 hours to explain missing $9.5m interest

By Maureen Ikpeama

Nigerian senate has given the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, 72 hours to appear in the Senate to explain all he knows about the disappearance of $9.5million interest accrued from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) investment, that is reportedly.

Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, had alerted of the missing money, after probing the spending of federal government agencies, leading to the Senate inquiry into the matter.

This would be the second time the Senate would be inviting the CBN boss, having failed to honour an earlier summons two weeks ago, when the lawmakers first called on him to state his own side.

Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo South, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, claimed the principal sums deposited, the tenor, and rate of interest were shrouded in secrecy.

He noted that there were many issues the CBN Governor needed to respond to corroborate some statements of account, adding that Emefiele had till Thursday this week to appear to address those issues before the Committee.

Petroleum profit tax (PPT), which is a tax applicable to upstream operations in the oil industry, is particularly related to rents, royalties, margins, and profit-sharing elements associated with oil mining, prospecting, and exploration leases.

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 totaling $6 million and $3.5 million 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 $9.5 million in a 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/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as of 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD251,826 respectively.

“This suggests the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year-end.

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

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