OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday said it has uncovered a Polaris bank account operated by the Federal Capital Territory Inland Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) in contravention of the federal government’s Single Treasury Account policy.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, made the disclosure when the chairman and members of the board of FCT-IRS appeared before the lawmakers.
Oke explained that during their last meeting, the committee uncovered a Polaris Bank account being maintained by the FCT-IRS and summoned the managing director of the bank who subsequently availed it with a copy of the agency’s bank statement.
While querying the motive behind the operation of the account, he stated, “We all know that President Muhammudu Buhari ordered that all agencies of government should maintain account with CBN under Treasury Single Account regime. So, this committee is worried that some agencies are still maintaining accounts with commercial banks.”
Despite the presentation of a copy of the bank statement submitted to the committee by Polaris Bank, the director of Treasury, FCT-IRS, Isiaku Ismaila, insisted that the account in question is not operated by his department.
He declared, “This account is not being operated by the FCT Treasury. We neither directed for this account to be opened nor are we signatories to this account. And, therefore, any transaction about this account, I am not competent to say anything about it.”
Ismaila further explained that following the directive of the president on TSA, as Director of Treasury, he issued a circular to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to make sure they comply, noting that the agency has not transferred any money to the account of FCT-IRS in any form into since the directive was given.
He also noted that though from the statement of account given to him by the committee that there were some entries in 2016 and thereafter, they were not made by the FCT treasury.
Ismaila also acknowledged that in May 2015, the sum of N150 million was remitted into that account but he was not the director then.
Thereafter, the committee summoned the former management staff of the office, as well as officials of Keystone Bank to furnish the it with details of financial transactions between it and the agency since inception.