Abuja - The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday in Abuja denied that $49.8 billion was missing from the Federation Account.
Sanusi said: "I only said that there may be unremitted amount of monies into the federation account."
He said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance, mandated by the Senate to investigate the allegations that $49.8 billion was missing from the account.
He confirmed that he indeed, wrote the letter to the president, but added that ``in truth, there is no missing money.
“Mr Chairman, we did not see the letter as a conclusion of our investigation, but an invitation to investigate.
“So, the conclusion that $49.8 billion was missing was wrong, even though, we had the allegation that it was not remitted,’’ Sanusi said.
He expressed regrets that the letter found its way into the press, adding that it was borne out of concern over low rate of accruals.
I found it very unfortunate, it was leaked to the press and the answer is 'Yes', the CBN governor did send that letter with those contents.
“By way of those contents, the Central Bank and Finance Ministry and the government were very much concerned over the years at the very low rate of accretion to the reserves.
The CBN governor, however, said that a lot had happened since the letter became public and that all stakeholders involved were working together to rectify the situation.
“We (the Minister of Finance, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Central Bank, FIRS, DPR) have set up technical team which has started a process of reconciliation and there has been a lot of progress made.
He appealed to the committee to give the stakeholders more time to resolve the issues.
“We need a little more time since the objective of this committee and for all of us is actually to get to the bottom of it.
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said what needed to be reconciled was $10.8 billion and not $12 billion as the CBN governor had said.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senetor Ahmed Makarfi urged both the CBN governor and the minister to reconcile the differences as soon as possible and report back to the committee.
“Right now, you can see that between you, you still have some differences.
“First of all, from my understanding, the CBN governor has said that he didn't say money was missing, but there may be unremitted revenue.
“Whether that revenue is kept somewhere is to be established," Makarfi said, and told all the parties to submit their individual positions to the committee after the reconciliation.