THE 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.
Senator Matthew Urhoghide(PDP, Edo South) led Senate Committee on Public Accounts accused the agency of not remitting fully the interest accrued from N34 billion in a fixed deposit account.
Addressing newsmen on the matter, Senator Urhoghide, who noted that the agency must present evidence of remitting N182 million accrued from the N34 billion placed in fixed deposit, said that whether the agency changes name or not, the agency must appear before the committee to 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 a fixed deposit account, or else the committee would sustain the position of Auditor General of the Federation against the agency.
But, the agency claimed it had remitted the interest to the Federation Account in a letter to the committee.
The query read, “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 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 a satisfactory reply to an audit query within seven 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 Commission, ICPC.”