Reps query ‘missing’ 5.5 million Euro recovered fund

Posted by News Express | 27 May 2021 | 315 times

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Accountant General of the Federation to appear before it to explain the whereabouts of about 5.5 million Euro meant for the operations of Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Uche Orji had told the House Adhoc Committee investigating the usage of looted and recovered funds that the money which is supposed to come from the Government of Island has not been credited to the account of the agency.

But a letter he read before the committee however suggested that the money has been sent to Nigeria, causing members of the committee to wonder where the money is kept since it has not been paid to the agency.

The money which is part of the monies recovered that was supposed to have been transferred to the NSIA for its operation also includes $311 million from the United States and 4.2 million pounds from the United Kingdom.

While Orji said that the N311 million pounds has been transferred to the fund, but not yet spent, he said the 4.2 million pounds and 5.5 million Euros has not been transferred to them.

He said “We are aware that an agreement has been reached between the Ministry of Justice and the counterpart countries. We have been notified about these agreements and that the funds will be transferred to us. But we are yet to receive the fund at the NSIA”.

Asked whether the money has been sent to Nigeria, he said he was not aware whether the funds have been sent to Nigeria or not, saying “all that I know is that we were asked to send an account and we have sent the account to the Central Bank. But we are not involved in those negotiations”

However, reading from a letter given to him by the committee, he said “I am directed to refer to your letter that the sum of 5.5 million Euros be credited to the FGN Recovery Account”.

Asked what credit means, he said “it means that the money has been sent”.

However, a member of the Committee, Rep. Edun Olarenwaju said “It is important that we invite the Account General to come and interface with the NSIA. If you recalled, yesterday (Tuesday), I challenged the Accountant General on whether that money was missing. Now, NSIA is saying they don’t know where the money is. So, there is need for two of them to cause appearance before this committee tomorrow so that we can find a lasting solution to this. 5.5 million Euro is not small money.”

Chairman of the Committee therefore, ruled that the Managing Director should appear before the committee on Thursday to interface with the Accountant General and the Minister of Finance on the issue.

The House also grilled the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, Representative of the Nigeria Navy, Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) while turning back the representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Chairman of ICP, Prof Bolaji Owasanloye, told the committee that so far, the commission has recovered N7.5 billion looted fund, out of which the government has accessed over N5 billion, leaving N2.1 billion in the account.

He said the agency was adopting preventive measures in its operation which he said explained why its recovery has been slow, stressing the Commission has also helped the government recovered about N188 billion between 2019 and 2020 from money released to MDAs which they did not need.

He also said that the commission is currently investigating about 37,000 certificates which are supposed to be fake for a particular ministry but refused to disclose the name of the ministry.

Owasanloye said that the ICPC had an assets recovery account where recovered loots were usually deposited, adding that the commission had no business with consolidate revenue funds. (The Nation)


Source: News Express

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