NDDC: How AGF approved transfer of $20m

NDDC: How AGF approved transfer of $20m

– NDDC Managing Director actually sought the approval of the Office of the
Accountant –General of the Federation before transferring the money.

– Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr Ugwoah Chibuzor, did not divert the said
controversial $20million.

Funds still in the UK

Fresh facts emerged yesterday that the Office of the Accountant-General of the
Federation approved the transfer of $20million belonging to the Niger Delta
Development Commission(NDDC) from the Union Bank in the United Kingdom
to the First Bank(UK) Plc to save the commission from losing its funds to
distress in Nigerian banks. It was also learnt that the Managing Director of the
NDDC, Mr Ugwoah Chibuzor, did not divert the said controversial $20million.

The MD of the NDDC had been under investigation by a panel headed by a
former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Steve Oronsaye over the
alleged unilateral transfer and diversion of the said $20m.

But a document obtained by our correspondent showed that the NDDC Managing
Director actually sought the approval of the Office of the Accountant –General of
the Federation before transferring the money.

The letter , AGF/TRY/RB/436/VOL1/5 reads in part: “With reference to
your letter of 26 November 2010 on retail banking relationship of your agency,
I am pleased to convey my confirmation and clearance of the under listed bank
recommended by you.
“This clearance covers First Bank UK PLC. The bank should be used for revenue
account as indicated in your letter under reference.’
“I am to further remind you of the Treasury Regulation which makes it
mandatory for you to obtain bank statements regularly for each account opened
by you and to carry out monthly bank reconciliation.
“A copy of your monthly bank reconciliation statement for all bank accounts must

be forwarded along with relevant returns to this office.”
A top source said: “One issue-among others – that is on the front burner is the
allegation that $20 million was transferred from the NDDC account in the UK
branch of Union Bank to First Bank in the UK by Chibuzor. The accusers have
given the impression that he did the unilateral transfer of the fund for personal
gains.
“But the facts on the ground run contrary to their claims. It was learnt that as
soon as the CBN exposed the financial crisis facing Union Bank and others ,the
MD recalled that the commission lost about N1.5billion when Societe General
Bank was liquidated.
“Chibuzor therefore felt there was no need to wait for and lose another huge
amount of money. So he took a pro- active step to save the funds of the
commission. The law is very categorical about the role of the MD who is saddled
with the responsibility of safeguarding the funds of the commission as the Chief
Accounting Officer of the Commission.
“The transfer of money from Union bank was like moving funds from the
weakest bank to the strongest bank. I want to also let you know that the MD has
ensured that not a single Dime was lost in the transfer.
“Just like when the fund was in Union Bank, the $20 million in First Bank is also
in a non -interest yielding account. The new account in First Bank UK was also
not opened in the MD’s name as it is still in the commission’s name.
“So it is not in anybody’s personal account. It is an account where among
others oil companies paid money into and the signatories to the account while it
was with Union Bank remain signatories in the new First Bank Account.
“Due to the controversy over the account the MD has ensured that no withdrawal
of funds has been made from the account otherwise “ he would be accused of
stealing”.
“His traducers however alleged that he had personal motive for transferring the
money. Responding to this claim, an angry source said “this account was not
opened in Chibuzor’s name ,so where is the fraud now? Remember he cannot
withdraw money from there alone?’’
Another top[ NDDC staff said: “What the people accusing Chibuzor failed to
say is that the mere transfer of the funds has come with a lot of benefits to the
commission and the region.
“For instance, First Bank is partnering with the commission to sponsor
foreign scholarships to the tune of USD1.2million annually for the next five
years totaling USD6m.
“That is why if you go to our website you will see the scholarship scheme clearly
named NDDC/FBN beginning from this year. For God’s sake, should people

crucify Chibuzor for making the transfer to a bank that is now of benefit to the
region?’’

Author: nmmin

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