Senate summons finance minister, accountant-general over secret withdrawal of N7.5bn

THE Senate has summoned Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed and Accountant-General of the Federation Ahmed Idris to explain an alleged secret withdrawal of N7.5 billion from the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC)’s account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The summon was made by Mathew Urhoghide-led Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday, following a query raised in the Auditor-General of the Federation’s (AuGF) report.

The AuGF’s report had revealed that the funds were withdrawn on various occasions from 2000 to 2006 for government transactions carried out by the Presidency.

The NADDC director-general Jelani Aliyu told the lawmakers that the money was withdrawn without the knowledge of the agency.

He also said previous efforts by the agency to get the money refunded had failed.

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The AuGF report had also said N3.7 billion was withdrawn between March and December 2000, while N3.8 billion was withdrawn in two instalments — N2.8 billion in 2005 and N1 billion in 2006.



    “A total sum of N3.836 billion was irregularly withdrawn from the two per cent National Automotive Council Levy Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja, in two installments of N2.8 billion (in 2005) and N1.036 billion (in 2006) by the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance as car loans to be granted for the Security Personnel Car Purchase Scheme Loan,” the AuGF had written in the query.

    “The transaction was carried out by the Presidency in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General of the Federation without the involvement of NAC, the account owner.

    “However the principal and the accrued interest from the fictitious loan have not been paid back nor are records available on the beneficiaries, agreement documents, moratorium, duration of the loan, the yearly interest rates accruable and how the fund will be paid back by the beneficiary.

    “The director-general (of NADDC) has been requested to intensify correspondence with the Honourable Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation and the Presidency to recover the fund (loan).”

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