Sterling, Diamond Banks named in fresh NNPC $629m TSA hidden fund

Hours after a letter from the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, of insubordination and non transparent practices, was made public, another crisis has hit the oil corporation.
The Baru-led corporation is being accused of hiding $629 million (about N226 billion) in various banks without remitting the sum to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
A source disclosed to Freedom Online that 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 – may soon have serious consequences for those at the corporation’s helm of affairs.
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.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.

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