The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued a statement clarifying its own share of the $793 million Treasury Single Account (TSA) funds that were alleged to have been unremitted by 7 commercial banks in the country.
Four of the banks involved in the case have issued statements denying any form of wrongdoing. While Fidelity, Skye bank and Sterling Banks issued press statements, UBA sent a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and also quoted a CBN memo in its defence.
According to the corporation, the funds had accrued from investments made by it and were being moved to a TSA by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The monies being moved include $174.4 million with Diamond Bank, $16.7 million with Keystone Bank and $40.7 million with Skye Bank.
Questions still remain unanswered
Despite this explanation, a few questions remain unanswered: When were the funds lodged with the banks? Why did it take so long for the NNPC to move these funds? It is yet unknown if the movement of the funds is based on instructions from the NNPC or in obedience of the court order. A Federal high Court Judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor had yesterday ordered that the funds held by the 7 banks be temporarily remitted into the Federal Government dollar Recovery Account domiciled with the CBN.
The CBN is yet to issue an official statement concerning the monies involved. It is also unknown if the three commercial banks are off the hook, or the explanation by the NNPC is a move to douse the controversy. Diamond bank, First bank and Keystone bank are also yet to issue any official statements concerning the matter. The Office of the Account General of the Federation (OAGF) which is behind the court case has also kept mum.