Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru in facing another allegation of hiding $629 million (about N226 billion) in various banks without remitting the sum to the Treasury Single Account (TSA). A petition accusing the Nigeria Petroleum corporation boss of insubordination and corruption by Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu is already a subject of global interest.
According to Freedom Online, its refusal to remit the sum, proceeds from its operations, and the interest accruing to appropriate accounts, may soon lead to trouble.
“In fact, it seems as if Baru’s cup is full and he may soon be shown the way out”, he said.
That the money sits idly in Nigerian banks – Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Diamond Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria
The money is lodged in various sums in the accounts.
An account in Sterling Bank with number 0023515951 holds $26,560,076.76 while the sum of $16.6 million is in an account with number 1006160930 in Keystone Bank.
The sum of $277.8 million is in another account with Diamond Bank numbered 0033789960 while $19 million sits in two accounts with First Bank – $12 million is in a current account numbered 2006307767 and $6.9 million is in another First Bank Escrow account with number 2016965894.
In addition to this total sum of $340,102,485.10, another sum of $289 million is placed via two cheques with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to sources, “requests from relevant offices to the NNPC to remit the total sum of the said $629,093,716.77 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company TSA account as is the practice have been rebuffed for reasons yet undisclosed”.
Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a financial policy in use in many countries all over the world to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account.
TSA allows government banking to be unified, to enable the relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation have full oversight of all cash flows across various bank accounts.
TSA also helps check cases of multiple, sometimes, untraceable accounts operated by government MDAs for collection and spending of government revenues.
It helps keep a good record of revenue receipts and expenditures and block leakages, as no agency of government is allowed to keep any operational bank account.
TSA helps check cases of idle cash lying over extended periods in bank accounts held by agencies of government, giving room for unscrupulous officials to make private wealth from interests on such deposits or by trading with the money.
Also, the scheme makes it impossible for banks that are fond of using public sector funds to make free profits to continue to do so.
The introduction of the Treasury Single Account policy therefore has been useful in reducing the proliferation of bank accounts operated by ministries, departments and agencies, thereby ensuring financial accountability as well as transparency.
Though it was first introduced in 2012 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, its implementation was largely not until the Muhammadu Buhari government came on board and gave the scheme real muscle.
It is against the background of TSA’s potential for curbing corruption that any flouting of its rules is sternly frowned upon by the Buhari administration which is seen to be fighting corruption.
Sources said this is not the first time NNPC’s management is flouting the TSA rule but the volume of money involved and the fact that relevant queries were raised by appropriate offices but ignored may have thrown the presidency into a rage.