Senate has vowed that the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) now Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) must account for the interest that accrued to N34 billion placed in the fixed deposit. The Senator Matthew Urhoghide led Senate Committee on Public Accounts accused the agency of not remitting fully the interest accrued from N34 billion in Fixed deposit account. Addressing Journalists on the matter, Senator Urhoghide who noted that the agency must present evidence of remitting N182 million accrued from N34 billion placed in fixed deposit, said that whether the agency changes name or not, the agency must appear before the Committee and account for interest accrued to N34 billion in the fixed deposit account.
According to him, PEF must account for the outstanding of N100 million that is remaining in the interest accrued to N34 billion placed in the fixed deposit account or else the Committee will sustain the position of Auditor General’s of the Federation against the agency. But, the Agency claimed to have remitted the interest to the Federation Account in a letter to the Committee. The query read, “At the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board, it was revealed that in 2015, the Board placed the sum of N34,003,057,534.22 (Thirty-four billion, three million, fifty-seven thousand, five hundred and thirty-four naira, twenty-two kobo) in fixed deposit accounts in various banks which yielded interest in the sum of N182,400,810.74 (One hundred and eighty-two million, four hundred thousand, eight hundred and ten naira, seventy-four kobo).
” However, the Board remitted only the sum of N82,263,824.31 (Eighty-two million, two hundred and sixty-three thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four naira, thirty-one kobo) to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, leaving a balance of N100,136,986.43 (One hundred million, one hundred and thirty-six thousand, nine hundred and eighty-six naira, forty-three kobo) 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 (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).”