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Friday, 21 July 2017

$793.2 Million TSA Funds: Skye Bank Confirms Holding $41 Million


The management of Skye Bank on Friday
confirmed holding about $41 million (about
N12. 9billion) belonging to the Nigerian
Investments Management Services, NAPIMS,
allegedly kept away from the Treasury Single
Account, TSA account domiciled with the
Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The money is part of about $793.2 million
(about N249.9 billion) allegedly kept illegally in
the custody of seven commercial banks.
This was in violation of the directive by the
Accountant General of the Federation that
effective September 15, 2015, all such funds be
transferred to the TSA account domiciled with
the CBN.


The affected banks include Skye Bank, United
Bank for Africa, UBA; Diamond Bank Plc; First
Bank Limited; Fidelity Bank Plc; Keystone Bank
Limited and Sterling Bank Plc.
The funds allegedly kept by the banks include
revenues, donations, transfers, refunds, grants,
taxes, fees, dues, tariffs, etc by different
government ministries, departments,
parastatals and agencies.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday
ordered the banks to remit the various
amounts sum into the TSA account at the CBN.
Justice Chuka Obiozor had in the case brought
by the office of the Attorney General of the
Federation ordered the seven banks to
immediately remit the various amounts
allegedly kept illegally in their custody to the
designated Federal Government’s Asset
Recovery dollars account with the CBN.
Details showed about $367.4million was
concealed by three government agencies in UBA,
while about $41million belonging to NAPIMS,
the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
NNPC, subsidiary was placed on fixed deposit
account with the Skye Bank.

Others included $277.9million in Diamond
Bank, $18.9million in First Bank; $24.5million in
Fidelity Bank; $17million in Keystone Bank; and
$46.5million in Sterling Bank.
But, Skye Bank, in a statement on Friday,
confirmed the $41 million in its custody, but
denied keeping same illegally or concealing the
transaction.

“The management of Skye Bank hereby states
that it neither colluded nor unilaterally hid the
reported sum or any other funds in its custody.”
it’s spokesperson, Nduneche Ezurike, said in
the statement.
“On the contrary, the said funds are held with
the full knowledge of the relevant agencies of
government, including the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN), the DSS, the National Assembly
and the Inspector General of Police’s Special
Investigation Panel, with whom we have
engaged extensively over same,” he explained.
As a law abiding institution , Mr. Ezurike said
Skye Bank would not conduct itself in breach of
the laws or policies of the government,
including the TSA policy.

He said the bank would take appropriate legal
steps to respond to the ruling of the Court come
August 8 when the substantive hearing is
scheduled.

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