By Jude Opara
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the management, implementation and level of compliance with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has summoned the Managing Directors of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo and his Aso Savings counterpart, Hassan Usman, to appear before it over undisclosed N21billion and $104.46million in two separate accounts not captured in the TSA.
The committee’s Chairman, Hon. Abubakar Danburam (PDP Kano), stated this in Abuja on Thursday when he briefed newsmen after the two bank executives failed to honour panel’s invitation. Consequently, the committee directed its secretariat to issue a summon mandating the bank chiefs’ compliance or a warrant of arrest issued against them.
He said: “Today, we are supposed to meet with Heritage Bank and Aso Savings with regard to the Treasury Single Account (TSA). As you can see, none of their management or official is here.
“Our independent investigations have revealed that contrary to what Heritage Bank submitted to us, they also have two undisclosed accounts in the TSA.
“The one with Nigerian Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank has $104 million while the second one with Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA) has $46,000. Yet, there is another N21 billion, which also forms part of our enquiry. We want to know why they did not reveal those accounts to this committee.
“We hereby give the managing directors of Heritage Bank and Aso Savings the opportunity of summons to appear before this committee in a date to be announced later. If they fail, we will then issue a warrant of arrest against them,” Danburam warned.
The committee said that Aso Savings is expected to provide explanations on its proposed Assets swap programme with the Federal Government for which it said funding procedures lacked details. Damburam stated that the absence of the two bank chiefs had delayed the final report of the committee.
A member of the committee, Hon. Simon Arabo (PDP Kaduna) took a swipe at the two financial institutions for failing to honour the lawmakers’ invitation. He, however, urged them to keep a date with the panel so as not to risk the avoidable embarrassment.