The Bureau of Public Enterprises refute allegations that its officials diverted N2.5 billion proceeds from Power Holding Company of Nigeria PHCN to purchase properties belonging to the defunct Aso Savings and Loans.
The Bureau through a statement by its head , public communications, Amina Tukur Othman said the facts were misrepresented by reports published in some quarters of the media.
Othman who exonerated officials of the bureau of any wrongdoing said it has deposited N2.5billion into Aso Savings to enable it’s staff access cheap fund for housing, prior to the commencement of Treasury Single Account, TSA implemented by the current administration if president Muhammadu Buhari.
She said, “On 25th February, 2014, the Bureau of Public Enterprises got the approval of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to establish a banking relationship with Aso Savings and Loans Plc.
Subsequently, the Bureau made a placement in the sum of N2.5 billion in the account to facilitate access to cheap finance for the Bureau’s staff housing scheme but the staff were not able to access the money”.
She said on the directive of the government that all fund held by commercial banks be pooled into one account maintained by the apex bank, Aso Savings failed to meet it’s obligation.
“Following the Federal Government’s directive on 14th September, 2015 that all funds held with Commercial Banks be transferred to the Bureau’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, it was discovered that Aso Savings & Loans Plc could not meet its deposit repayment obligations”, she said
The spokesperson said attempts to recover the total amount deposited has proven abortive. She said, “As a result, on 18th October, 2016, Aso Savings and Loans Plc proposed a repayment plan as follows: (1). Property swap valued at N1.52 billion. Under this arrangement, ownership of some completed properties that are ready for sale will be ceded to the Bureau in partial satisfaction of the stranded deposits; and (2). cash repayment of N1.25 billion. This entailed a bullet transfer of N70million per month until the amount was extinguished”.
The statement said even with the above proposed repayment plan, Aso Savings and Loans has been unable to meet up with the payment while it has once sold habitable properties and remitted the proceeds to the single treasury account in compliance with the federal government directive on TSA.
BPE however enjoins the public to discountenance the fact twisted reports as they represent the imaginations of the writer rather than the true picture of the transaction.