Reps Uncover N300bn Unclaimed Funds in Banks, Query Citi Bank
The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the recovery of N1.2 trillion unclaimed funds in banks has said it has so far discovered over N300billion since the start of its investigation.
Chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom), disclosed this after a session with Citi Bank and officials of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) yesterday in Abuja.
He stated that the committee was raised after a resolution of the House on January 26 to investigate and recover the N1.2trillion due to the federal government hanging in banks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other places. He said the funds were in dormant bank accounts without BVN.
Earlier, the chairman informed the management team of Citi Bank that the bank owed a total of N99billion out of the N1.2trillion being owed to the federal government by about 500 entities which include commercial banks, MDAs and others.
He presented a list of accounts which he said were holding such funds in Citi Bank.
However, the Executive Director, Operations and Technology of the bank, Ngozi Omoke-Enyi, said seven accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN) were submitted to the committee.
She said: “These accounts have been existing. We don’t open accounts without signatories. We said customers did not provide BVN details. What we mean by ‘No Signatory” is that we have listed the signatories. That’s what happened.
“If you don’t have BVN and it’s an existing account from the onset and if you are meant to be a signatory to the account and we don’t have your BVN, we delist you and you can’t operate the account anymore. We are not deleting ownership. We are just stopping the operations of the account until you comply with the requirements.”
After the deliberations, the Citi Bank officials were told to reconcile their accounts and return for clarifications.
On the other hand, the committee, while addressing officials of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), disclosed that the council owed the federal government N5.2billion in unremitted revenue, operating surplus and other funds from 2015 to 2021.
The Director of Finance, NIPC, James Akwa, who appeared before the committee sought an extension of time to reconcile their accounts and was granted one week.