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Reps to probe CBN over alleged under-remittance of $5bn to federation account.

THE House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to probe Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN over alleged under-remittance of over $5 billion to the Federation Account.

To this end, the House has decided to set up a high powered ad hoc committee to investigate the under remittances of revenue by the CBN to the Federation Account and report back to the House in eight weeks.

The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Honourable Ayo Omidiran entitled, 'Need to investigate the under remittances of over 5 billion dollars to the Federation Account by the CBN.'

According to her, 'the CBN being the banker of Government, receives financial inflows on behalf of the Federation and should make same available on demand via the Federation Account on a monthly basis. The House is aware that the CBN prepares the Federation Account instead of the Accountant General of the Federation.

'The CBN takes advantage of this all-important function of warehousing funds for the three tiers of government and preparation of the Federation Account statement, to manipulate the system by opening various accounts not known to the three tiers of government where funds are remitted, hidden, diverted and spent without authorisation.

'The CBN in 2006, opened various accounts with JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York, USA, in which IOCs ( International Oil Companies) remit all revenues for the Federation.

'The CBN still operates an account with Federal Reserve Bank of New York, USA, alongside that of JP Morgan Chase Bank from 2006 till date.

'The CBN's responsibility of receiving revenue in foreign currencies and converting same to Naira for the benefit of the three tiers of government, has led to a substantial loss in the amounts remitted to the Federation Account.

'The CBN takes 0.25 per cent of all foreign denominated revenue as 'exchange commission' (for converting dollars to naira), but even after deducting this commission, the balance credited to the Federation Account at various times have been in negative difference (against expectations), running into billions of naira per year.

'About the substantial difference between the official exchange rate of dollar to naira, and that at which the Bureau De Change sell in the parallel market, whereas it is the CBN that sells dollars to the Bureau Dr Change operators on a weekly basis as well as regulate the financial market.

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'In the recent past, FAAC meetings have been postponed due to irregularities observed in the Federation Account by the states.

'The CBN has violated Section 80(2) of the 1999 constitution as amended by spending funds not appropriated by the National Assembly.

She, however, expressed worry that, 'the office of the Accountant General of the federation has not reported these infractions of under-remittance of millions of dollars and trillions of naira into the Federation Account by the CBN.'

The motion scaled through when the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara put it to a voice vote.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Dec 20, 2017
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