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Monday, May 29, 2023

Kogi Debunks Opening Fixed Deposit Account with Sterling Bank

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna

The Kogi state Government has debunked the claim that the state Government has opened a fixed deposit account with Sterling bank. It disclosed further that the controversial account was opened in the name of the state government without the knowledge or directive of the state.

According to the Kogi Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris Asiru, “the state government was surprised when it received the news that the bailout money meant to offset arrears of workers’ salaries was domiciled in a Fixed Deposit Account with the bank, to yield interests, adding that the State wrote to Sterling Bank to discover the bank’s true position. The bank responded, stating that the government had no such account with it.

He disclosed this alongside the state Accountant General, Jibril Momoh and Auditor General, Yakubu Okala, before the state assembly at plenary, on Tuesday, in Lokoja.

The Commissioner added that the so-called Mirror Account was returned to the CBN as Liability Account by the bank adding that the government also wrote to the bank on the issue.

“No fixed account was ever opened or authorised by anyone, nor was there any N20 billion kept anywhere. “The facility in that sum collected from the bank via the approval of CBN in 2019 has since been used for the purpose intended. Salary payment and other overheads.

“Kogi is paying N89 million on a monthly basis to settle the bailout loan.

”As a state, we are known for transparency, accountability and efficiency in funds management as it has become a culture under Governor Yahaya Bello.

“That cannot be rubbed in the mud easily. As a Government, Gov. Bello remains upright and our books are there to be checked.

”Kogi state is in the good books of the World Bank and other international partners for openness, transparency and accountability, therefore, no amount of misinformation and mischievous assault can fault the records.

“The state would consider filing a lawsuit after the ongoing investigations into the matter,” Asiru explained.

The State House of Assembly called the Commissioner to explain the state’s position on the alleged N20 billion that was recently forfeited to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in agreement with the EFCC.

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