The Ministry in a statement signed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated that about N58 billion has been identified in such accounts, which the agencies are alleged to keeping in connivance with banks with the aim of accumulating interest.
“It has come to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance that some federal government agencies that generate independent revenue, in collusion with some banks, have refused to remit monies to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federal government which they are obliged by law to do.”
“We have identified about N58 billion of such monies which rightfully belongs in the CRF” the statement read.
The Ministry claimed that “this unwholesome practice has persisted despite the efforts of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to encourage the agencies and the affected banks to do the right thing.”
“Rather than comply, the agencies and banks, through their lawyers have engaged in all manner of legal subterfuges to ensure that monies which are due to the Federal Government are not remitted.”
“The objective of this conspiracy against the national interest is clear: to keep government monies indefinitely in accounts earning interest for individuals at the expense of the Federal Government and the Nigerian people.”
“This is totally unacceptable and the Federal Ministry of Finance is determined that this practice must end forthwith.”
“Starting Monday, June 17, 2013, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, in exercise of its powers under the extant laws and rules, will close the accounts of agencies involved in this practice in all banks.”
“This process of systematic closure will continue until all monies that should be in the Consolidated Revenue Fund are retrieved” the statement warned.