A few days ago, the Nigeria Police Force announced the shocking recovery of $470.4m and N8.8bn allegedly hidden in commercial banks by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company contrary to the Federal Government’s policy of Single Treasury Account.
In a swift reaction, however, the NNPC has dismissed the police statement as unfounded and that the corporation is not aware of such funds in commercial banks.
Then, if this is the case, who owns the money? Does the money belong to ghosts? It is only in Nigeria that a powerful government corporation or powerful individuals can flout government’s policy without consequences.
Disturbed by this shameless drama, human rights activist, Femi Falana, has urged the NNPC to come clean on this potentially damaging scandal.
The TSA is one of the core policies of the Buhari administration to stem corruption and ensure accountability and transparency.
This is not the first time the NNPC was accused of keeping funds secretly in commercial banks in violation of the TSA policy.
The Senate had previously made the same discovery, but the issue died a natural death.
Why is the NNPC behaving as if it is above the law? Former Central Babk of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido, had a running battle with the NNPC for not making proper remittances of oil revenues to the government.
He was stampeded out of office for daring to challenge the behemoth called the NNPC.
That this culture of opacity still persists in the NNPC activities is unbelievable.
According to the police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, the funds which were recovered by the Monitoring Unit of the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr.
Ibrahim Idris, were part of unremitted revenue by the NNPC to the TSA in the CBN, in violation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that all public funds be domiciled in the single account.
There can be no funds without owners.
If the NNPC is reluctant to come clean on this emerging scandal, it is within the powers of the President to compel the management of the NNPC to honestly explain the ownership of the funds and why they should be deposited in commercial banks in violation of the TSA policy.
Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga, Abuja