THE House of Representatives is poised to investigate the circumstances leading to the entrapment of N13 billion belonging to Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM).
The Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Oluwole Oke, in a chat, said the committee will not only investigate the issue, but also make efforts to recover the funds as it is depositors’ funds.
He said: “NEXIM Bank in the course of their businesses also manages depositors’ funds, try to expand business operations and so on. They made some investments, placed some funds with Heritage Bank, and they’ve not been able to retrieve that money.
“The money was initially more than N13 billion in the brief we got from NEXIM Bank. But it is now N13 billion. That’s tax payers’ money.
“And if you remember, the Minister of Finance has repeatedly told this nation that this nation has revenue issues. So, if you have N13 billon of Federal Government money hanging with a particular bank, shouldn’t we get the money back?”
The PAC Chair said the Committee intends to recover the money by all means. “We’ve written to Heritage Bank. It’s very clear in the books of NEXIM Bank that the N13 billion is outstanding, and if care is not taken, it will amount to loss of revenue. So, that’s where were coming in.
“So, it is shown in the audited account of NEXIM Bank, and Heritage Bank should refund that money forthwith and all interest accrued.
“N13 billion is not a joke! If the Federal Government is building schools or hospitals, you can imagine how many N13 billion can build,” he stated.
Recall that in 2012, the license of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) was acquired from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the bank transmuted to Heritage Bank Plc.