Senate has yet raised another alarm over irregularities in the N1.1trillion Federal Government investments in Crown Agents Bank and other financial institutions. This is contained in the 2015 Audit report of the federal government accounts. The irregularities reared their ugly heads as a result of the failure of the Accountant General of the Federation to provide share certificate to authenticate genuineness of N46 billion investment in 2015, and written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3 billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit. Crown Agents Bank is a United Kingdom (UK) regulated provider of wholesale Foreign Exchange and cross-border payment services connected across frontier and emerging markets.
In the report adopted by the Senate before proceeding on its annual recess, the Accountant General for the Federation ( AGF), was accused of not presenting shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of Federal government investments in Crown Agents Bank and Financial Institutions in Nigeria. The revelation followed the presentation of the Senator Matthew Urhoghide, led Senate Committee on Public Accounts that investigated the report submitted to it by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation. Also stated in the report is that there were no additional investments in the power sector during the year under review, as against N547.8 billion being opening balance in the National Integrated Power Projet (NIPP) at the beginning of 2015. According to the report, Crown Agents disposed off investment totalling N3 billion while additional investments amounting to N439.7 billion were made during the period without documentary evidence, just as the Account where the proceeds of the disposal of the sum of N3 billion credited was not provided for audit confirmation.
It was unravelled that about N239 billion, investment was an overcast recorded in the 2014 investment. The Auditor’ s report read ” It was observed that the federal government of Nigeria had additional investment in the sum of N46.3 billion and total disposal of investment of N134.3 billion as at year ended , 2015. The shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of the additional investment of N46.3 billion were not Produce for audit. Also , there was no written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3 billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit confirmation. There were no additional investment in the power sector during the year under review as against the N547 billion being opening balance of investment in the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) at the beginning of 2015. The Accountant-General of the Federation was required by the Auditor-General to provide the authorities for all the additional and disposal of investment during the year under review and provide the share certificate of all the additional investment for audit verification.”
According to the report the Accountant General of the Federation said that “the investment of N10 billion and N16.8 billion in Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and Galaxy Backbone Plc, respectively, did not occur in year 2015 but we’re investment omitted from previous statement while the investment of N20 billion in Development Bank of Nigeria was a new Federal government of Nigeria Investment. The additional investment of N160 million in Infrastructure Bank was as a result of the subscription of Right Issue declared by the Bank.” The Committee chaired by Senator Urhoghide however rejected the explanation of the Accountant-General of the Federation as the he was unable to produce share certificate. Based on the presentation of the Committee, the Senate therefore ordered the Office of Accountant General of the Federation to provide share certificate to the Auditor General of the Federation for Audit within 60 days.