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No document on N7.5bn withdrawal, says finance ministry

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Nina Nnenna_

THE Federal Ministry of Finance on Tuesday told the Senate Public Accounts Committee that it was not in possession of any document relating to the alleged secret withdrawal of N7.5bn.

The Senate panel had last week asked the Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and Office of National Security Adviser to explain the alleged secret withdrawal of N7.5bn from the 2 per cent National Automotive Council Design and Development Council Levy Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of Permanent Secretary, Aliyu Ahmed, a Director from the ministry, Mr Teslim Akintoye, said that the ministry was not in possession of documents concerning the transaction.

Asked by the panel currently scrutinising the 2015 Auditor-General for the Federation report to produce evidence on the said withdrawal, Akintoye said, “We don’t have any document to show for that transaction.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator, Mathew Urhoghide, alleged that the ministry gave the approval based on the documents before him.

The Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Hassan Hadejia, asked, “Are you telling us that there is no document in the ministry to show for it, even when everything emanated from your ministry?”

The representative of Office of Accountant General of Federation, Alexandra Adeyemi, however confirmed that the money in question was released and would be recovered through budgetary process.

He did not, however, present the list of beneficiaries of the fund in question a part was earmarked for car loans to security officers.

After heated debate on the matter, the Committee resolved to dig deeper into the alleged secret withdrawal because there was no evidence that the money was paid back into the Federation Account.

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