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Senate summons federal ministry, agencies over N7.5b ‘secret’ withdrawal

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Nigerian Senate PHOTO:Twitter

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts is upset by the alleged secret withdrawal of N7.5 billion from the National Automotive Council Design and Development Council (NADDC) Levy Account domiciled with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It, therefore, gave the Ministry of Finance, Office of Accountant General of the Federation and Office of National Security Adviser till next Tuesday to offer explanation.

The action of the Senate committee was based on the query by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) in 2015.

Two weeks ago, the committee had summoned the affected agencies to appear before it to explain the alleged secret withdrawal, but they did not honour the invitation.

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Presenting the details of the withdrawal before the committee yesterday, the Director-General of NADDC, Jelani Tukur, said the agency had already written to the Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; and Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, on the withdrawal of N3.7 billion as loan to NAFCON, N3.8 billion for security personnel car loan scheme, and N2.3 billion as loan to Steyrs Nigeria Limited.

Tukur added that the agency had also written a letter to remind Niger Insurance Plc of the agreement reached on July 9, 2020 as ordered by the committee. The first letters were written to the finance minister and the accountant-general on April 23, 2021 and delivered on April 26. The second was written to the minister on April 26 and delivered on April 26. That of the accountant was delivered on April 26.

According to the committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, all parties involved in the transaction must be present next Tuesday to assure the committee that the money would be returned to the NADDC account domiciled in CBN.

Urhoghide urged the agencies to bring evidence of the withdrawal approval while coming.

The committee threatened to sanction any agency that failed to appear.

“The transaction was carried out by the Presidency, in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI), the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General of the Federation, without the involvement of NAC, the account owner.

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CBNJelani TukurNADDC
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