The House of Representatives Committee probing the status and management of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, Wedesday queried the lodgement of $4.9 million and N1.5 billion in an unnamed commercial bank without appropriate authorisation from the President.
Consequently, the special committee summoned Ibrahim Usman Jibril, the Minister for Environment, to appear before it and explain why such an account should be maintained by his Ministry in the face of the government’s TSA policy.
The committee members at the continued investigative hearing were appalled by the fact that the sum of N1.5bn was deposited in the bank since March 2017 and another $4.9 million into a Domiciliary account outside the TSA.
The Abubakar Nuhu Danburam-led adhoc-committee had queried why such large deposits were made in the commercial bank without the Presidency’s approval.
Instead, a letter signed on behalf of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, was presented as the authorization for the operation of the non-TSA account.
A representative of the bank admitted before the committee that the bank erred, particularly when the money in the account did not generate any interest and withdrawn down to about N400 billion.
The bank official further explained, “We listen to customers and what they tell us is exactly what we do, and in this direction, I know we erred”.
Inquest into the operation of the accounts outside the TSA by the Ministry had been ongoing in the House, with lawmakers wondering why the minister was foot-dragging and not forthcoming with needed explanations, especially as they pertained to the provision of a Presidential directive necessary for such action.
It is still unclear if the panel will resort to issuing a bench warrant against the minister should he fail to honour the summon for the last time.