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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is under scrutiny after $3.3 billion went missing from the $21.3 billion collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as foreign tax in 2015. The $21.3 billion was kept in CBN, but upon inquiry, the apex bank reported that the amount domiciled in the bank is now $18 billion.
The discovery led to the Senate issuing a query to CBN, to ascertain how the $3.3 billion went missing. The Senate's action was prompted by the audit query raised against the CBN by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.
The shortfall in the amount generated by the FIRS is being probed by the Public Accounts Committee, which is chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide. During the panel session, the Deputy Governor for Corporate Affairs of the CBN, Edward Adamu, said the $3.3 billion was neither missing nor unremitted.
Adamu blamed the exchange rate as the reason for the shortfall. He said the exchange rate as at the period the FIRS recorded the $21.3 billion, however, his explanation wasn't convincing to the panel. The committee told Adamu to back his explanation with necessary documents, giving him and other top officials of the CBN, Monday to report back.
Speaking on the panel's findings and the response of the CBN, the chairman of the panel, Urhoghide said, “When the CBN was asked about the difference in the amount, the CBN hinged its argument on exchange rate, upon which officials of the bank are directed to come up with supporting documents if they have.
“There were 13 queries raised concerning CBN. Today, they have explained some while some are yet to be sufficiently explained, particularly the $3.3bn difference it has from the $21.3bn foreign taxes remitted by FIRS.”
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