Senate Panel Insists PEF Hasn’t Remitted Interest On Fixed N34bn
The Senate’ Committee on Public Accounts has insisted that the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, now Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, must account for the bank interest on the N34bn placed in a fixed deposit account with one the nation’s commercial lenders.
The committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, had accused PEF of not remitting fully, the bank interest on the N34bn.
The Fund had, however, claimed in a letter to the committee that it had remitted the interest to the federation account.
Urhoghide, while speaking to journalists, insisted that PEF must present evidence of remitting N182m interest on the N34bn.
He stated that whether the Fund changes name or not, it must appear before the committee to account for the interest.
The lawmaker added that PEF must account for the N100m outstanding interest on the N34bn or the committee would sustain the position of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation in the audit query against the Fund.
The query read in part, “At the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board, it was revealed that in 2015, the Board placed the sum of N34,003,057,534.22 in fixed deposit accounts in various banks which yielded interest in the sum of N182,400,810.74.
“However, the Board remitted only the sum of N82,263,824.31 to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, leaving a balance of N100,136,986.43 unaccounted for.
“This act is a contravention of the provision of Financial Regulation 222 which stipulates that, ‘Interest earned on bank accounts must be properly classified to the appropriate revenue head of Accounts and paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.’
“The Executive Secretary should remit the outstanding interest yield of N100,136,986.43 immediately to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and furnish evidence of remittance for my verification.
“Failure to comply should attract appropriate sanctions in line with Financial Regulation 3112 which stipulates that, ‘where an officer fails to give satisfactory reply to an audit query within 7 days for his failure to account for government revenue, such officer shall be surcharged for the full amount involved and such officer handed over to either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.”