The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is keeping over N50 billion outside the Treasury Single Account (TSA), a parliamentary panel said yesterday.
The amount is stuck in different commercial bank accounts by the corporation, the panel constituted by the House of Representatives to probe the status of TSA said.
Chaired by Abubakar Nuhu Danburam (APC, Kano), the panel said the over N50bn is part of proceeds from joint venture contracts (JVC).
At a session yesterday in Abuja, the panel said NNPC claimed the amount was exempted from being transferred to the TSA, following an approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has confirmed NNPC’s claim, saying a letter issued by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the president, Abba Kyari conveyed the directive.
Mr Dipo Fatokun, who represented CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, told the lawmakers that the TSA has yet to achieve 100 per cent compliance, saying part of the N50bn may have been withheld by some banks due to the outcome of litigation involving the NNPC.
But the lawmakers doubted the claims, saying there must be a separate approval given by the president since the purported letter from the CoS was not categorical.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, was not present to respond to issues raised by members of the panel. Consequently, the lawmakers summoned him to appear “unfailingly” on Wednesday, next week. He is to appear alongside some banks chief executive officers.
Danburam and his colleagues also resolved that NNPC must produce evidence of presidential approval for the exemption of the accounts within 48 hours.