Thursday, 16 November 2017

$21.3m NPA TSA Fund Trapped In Heritage Bank

About $21.3m of Federal Government's funds held for the Nigerian Ports Authority by Heritage Bank had been trapped in the vault of the lender since 2016, the NPA told the House of Representatives in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, who made the disclosure, said efforts to get the bank to remit the money into the Treasury Single Account had so far met a brick wall.
She appeared before an ad hoc committee of the House investigating compliance with the TSA policy by government agencies. The committee is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kano State, Mr . Danburam Abubakar- Nuhu.
The NPA boss stated that a series of interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria to retrieve the money had failed. According to Usman, Heritage Bank's reason for not remitting the money is that“if such a huge withdrawal is allowed, it will have stress on the bank".
"We wrote the CBN a number of letters and they promised to provide a guarantee. Up till date, they have not given us the guarantee” she stated.
The MD further informed the committee that another sum of € 6m kept by First City Monument Bank for the NPA was suddenly seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Usman said the bank was operating the account for the NPA on its cargo tracking services operations before the seizure by the EFCC. "The EFCC suddenly moved the €6 m from FCMB to their own account; they just unilaterally swept the money". she added.
When the committee asked why the anti graft agency seized the money, the NPA MD replied that no clear reasons were given.
However, she said it might be connected to investigations being conducted by the EFCC, but which the NPA did not have the details of.
The committee subsequently summoned the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, to appear before it to explain why the money was confiscated.


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