National Assembly to investigate funds stuck in banks

The Ad Hoc Committee on Unclaimed Funds in Nigerian Commercial Banks and Infractions by the Central Bank of Nigeria of the House of Representatives has begun an investigation into funds stuck in commercial banks due to the alleged failure to link the account holding the funds to a Bank Verification Number and the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account policy.

The committee is looking into the over 45 million accounts that are reported to be holding funds worth over N1.2 billion.

On January 26, 2022, the House passed a resolution establishing a committee to investigate suspicious and unclaimed funds held in various accounts. The House had mandated the committee to also investigate the unremitted funds collected on behalf of ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government by the banks.

The House had further mandated the committee to look into the alleged “several infractions by the Central Bank of Nigeria against the provisions of the enabling Act and Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the good people of Nigeria, especially in the area of intervention projects and programs.”

These resolutions were based on a proposal by Dachung Bagos, a member, titled “Need to Investigate Unclaimed Funds in Nigeria.”

On monday, the committee was inaugurated with several invited ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government as well as banks in attendance.

The Chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, after representatives of the MDAs made their remarks, said, “For commercial banks, this resolution stipulates that you submit documents that would help us recover unclaimed funds in about 45 million accounts that are not linked to the BVN. About 45 million accounts are what the House has been able to discover through the recent reports. Those accounts are not linked to BVN. So, money in those accounts, we want to know the positions, whether you have refunded the FG or what happened to the funds. You are going to give us documents to back these investigations.”

According to Idem, the committee’s assignment is “enormous, crucial and sensitive, given what the country is facing economically.”

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