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Senate report exposes multi-billion naira fraud in BPE

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The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) which came under Senate Committee on Public Accounts scrutiny has been exposed for none remittance of several billions of naira into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The Senate has on the strength of queries issued the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation, directed the former to remit N8.7 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

BPE as alleged by the 2015 Audit Report, sustained by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and adopted by the Upper Legislative Chamber committed series of financial infractions between 2014 and 2015 financial years, totalling N8,757,353,089.09 billion in violation of several rules of financial regulations.

One of such violations was the alleged non – remittance of N4,736,932,467.67 billion dividends received on Federal Government Holdings which was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

Though BPE in its response to the query, said all dividends received on Federal Government Holdings in the year under review totalling N6, 819, 388,791.00 billion were transferred to Treasury Single Account (TSA) in September 2015, but the Senate however didn’t accept the submission for lack of documentary evidence.

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“The report adopted by the Senate reads: “The Committee observed that there was no evidence provided by BPE to show that the dividend was remitted to TSA.

“Consequently, the Commitee recommends that the Bureau remit the sum of N4,736,932, 467.67 billion to the CRF, evidence of which must be submitted to Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Commitee”.

BPE in another query sustained and adopted by the Senate, was alleged diversion of N2.5 billion proceeds of PHCN from Access and FCMB banks to now liquated Aso Savings and Loans for financing of Staff Housing Scheme , contrary to financial regulation 3205.

The query and Senate’ s resolution read: ” Unauthorised transfer of N2.5billion representing PHCN proceeds in Access Bank and FCMB Accounts were diverted to ASO Savings and Loans Plc, as a condition precedent to the Staff Cooperative Mortgage , contrary to Financial Regulation 3205.

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“The Commitee observed that there was no approval from Debt Management Office ( DMO) for the Bureau to secure loan from ASO Savings just as it was also observed that there was collusion between ASO Savings and BPE.

“Consequently, the sum of N2.5 billion with all accrued interest be remitted to the CRF by BPE with evidence of remittance forwarded to the Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Committee.

“All oficers involved in the transaction should be surcharged for the loss of government revenue in line with Financial Regulations 3106 and 3115”.

The Bureau as contained in the adopted report was also alleged of non-remittance of N1, 135, 139, 199.77billion earned interest on fixed deposit in various commercial banks.

The N1.135billion interest as explained in the query and adopted report , was from N19, 774, 272, 998.55 billion deposited in various commercial banks which BPE management in its response, said it was used to settle PHCN Staff severance benefits.

But the Commitee in its report, accused the Bureau of breaching Financial Regulations and recommended for remittance of the N1.135billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund .

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The report states: “The Commitee recommends that the Bureau pay the sum of N1, 135, 139, 199.77 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, in accordance with relevant Financial Regulations and submit evidence of remittance to the Auditor General of the Federation and Senate Public Accounts Commitee”,

Also included in the query and adopted by the Senate , was the alleged non remittance of N387,771, 741.82million incidental taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by BPE from the mandatory 10% WHT collected as service charge from different investors in the year under review.

The report states: “The Committee observed that WHT totalling N387, 771,741.82 million , was not paid to FIRS despite BPE’s promise 5 years ago that all incidental taxes shall be deducted and remitted to FIRS .

“The Commitee therefore recommends that the sum of N387,771,741.82 million be remitted into the CRF by the Bureau and evidence of remittance submitted to the Auditor – General for Federation and Senate Public Accounts Commitee” .

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