The Bureau of Public Enterprises, an agency of the Federal Government responsible for the sale and privatisation of public assets, has failed to remit over N14billion which is the proceeds of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This was revealed in the Auditor-General of the Federation 2017 report which added that the BPE diverted the money to some commercial bank accounts instead of remitting it into the CBN Privatisation Proceeds Accounts.
The BPE, according to the AuGF 2017 report, concluded the privatisation in 2013, but the proceeds were yet to be remitted to the government’s coffers.
In the report obtained by SaharaReporters, the Auditor-General noted that the infraction had been communicated to the BPE through a letter reference “No. OAuGF/RESAD/05/2016/07 dated April 19, 2018, and no response has been received.”
The Auditor-General worried that the unauthorised funds kept in commercial banks may be diverted for other purposes, thereby leading to loss of revenue available for government programmes.
The AuGF report under Section 10, Revenue Audit Department, said, “During periodic checks of the accounts and other related records of Bureau of Public Enterprise, the following observations were made; Issue 3: Power Holding Company of Nigeria proceeds in commercial banks accounts N14,720,396,432.43;
“Audit verification and reconciliation revealed that the sum of N14,720,396,432.43, being proceeds from the privatisation exercise of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, was reported in the Bureau’s Trial Balance to be in Commercial Bank Accounts as at December 31, 2016.
“Whereas, the privatisation of PHCN was concluded in 2013, the proceeds are yet to be remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria Privatization Proceeds Accounts.
“Recommendation – The Director–General is required to recover the sum of N14,720,396,432.43 being proceeds of PHCN and remit same to CRF and forward evidence of remittance to my office for audit confirmation.”