The House of Representatives has summoned the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, to come explain a “purported” presidential approval exempting some special accounts of the corporation from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The lawmakers also queried the Presidency over the approval, stressing that the accounts, with funds worth N50bn, are still being kept by commercial banks in breach of the TSA policy.
The Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee of the House, Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu (APC-Kano state), found out that the NNPC directed some commercial banks to keep the accounts outside the TSA.
Question mark over Presidential approval
Meanwhile, a Senior Official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dipo Fatokun, confirmed to the Committee that it was aware of the excluded accounts, pointing to a document tendered by the NNPC, indicating that there was a presidential approval.
The said approval was a memo written by the Chief Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, authorising the NNPC to exclude the accounts from the TSA.
Expressing surprise over the discovery, Danburam-Nuhu stated, “Banks are still holding accounts with funds up to N50bn outside the TSA.
“The banks claim that there is an approval by the President for the accounts to operate outside the TSA. These are NNPC accounts and the corporation must produce evidence of the presidential approval.”
A memo by Kyari, purporting to convey President Muhammadu Buhari’s exemption directive, was analysed by members of the Committee and was rejected as not convincing.
One of the members, Edward Pwajok said the memo did not say much other than opening with the line, “I have been directed.”
Pwajok added that in the circumstances, the proper thing to do was to summon Kyari to convince the Committee that Buhari indeed granted the exemptions.
The Committee directed the CBN to submit a reconciliation report on the accounts still with commercial banks before the end of this month.