By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigation Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over alleged under remittances of revenue into the Federation Account, amountiing to over five billion dollars.
To this end, the House has to set up an Ad hoc committee to carry out the investigation, and report back its findings within eight weeks.
The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored under matters of urgent public importance by Rep Ayo Omidiran, titled; the need to investigate the under remittances of over five billion dollars to the Federation Account by the CBN.
The lawmaker noted that “the CBN being the banker of Government, receives financial in flows on behalf of the Federation and should make same available on demand via the Federation Account on a monthly basis”, but that “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”.
According to the lawmaker, “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 substantial loss in the amounts remitted to the Federation Account.
She also argued that have been substantial difference between the official exchange rate of dollar to naira at which the Bureau De Change sell in the parallel market, while it is the CBN that sells dollars to the Bureau Dr Change operators on a weekly basis as well as regulate the financial market, stressing further that “in the recent past, FAAC meetings have been postponed due to irregularities observed in the Federation Account by the states”.
She therefore called for the House’s independent investigation, especially 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”.