Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Reps, CBN disagree over N13.4bn house sale proceeds

Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal and Governor, CBN, Mallam Lamido SanusiThe Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday disagreed on whether or not the bank remitted the N13.4bn it realised from the sale of houses in 2008 to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The committee, acting on a query raised by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, had summoned the central bank to account for the money.
The AGF said the bank sold the houses in execution of the monetisation policy of the Federal Government, but withheld the proceeds.
However, CBN’s Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Mr. Suleiman Barau, argued that the bank remitted the money.
Barau explained that the money was paid as part of the N24m operating surplus the CBN remitted to government’s coffers.

But available records before the committee showed that what the bank remitted was N12.6bn and not N13.4bn.
On their part, officials from the AGF office could not provide the breakdown of the N13.4bn they said the CBN owed.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, later stood the matter down pending when the AGF’s office would provide the breakdown and reconcile with the figure of the CBN.
The query on the N940m property the CBN bought for the National Planning Commission was also stood down pending when the commission would avail the committee its own records of the transaction.
On the N74m contract for the CBN’s Lagos office, which was later reviewed to N79m, the committee cleared the bank, saying that it had received “the necessary documents” on the contract.
The committee put three other queries on hold pending further investigations.
They included the multiple contracts of N50m, N44m and N24m for the renovation of the Lagos residence of the CBN governor and the sale of his Wuse residence in Abuja at a “ridiculously low price of N160m.”
Another deputy governor’s residence in Maitama, Abuja, was also said to have been sold for N75m.
According to the AGF report, property included a six-bedroom house with boys’ quarters and other supporting structures.
The AGF report noted that after the disposal of the official residences, the bank bought land to begin the process of building new houses for the governor and his deputy.
Source: Punch

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