RE: AuGF REPORT REVEALS HOW BPE OFFICIALS DIVERTED N2.5BN PHCN PROCEED TO BUY PROPERTIES IN ASO SAVINGS
Our attention has been drawn to media reports with the above headline which appeared in several newspapers on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, insinuating that officials of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) allegedly diverted N2.5bn Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to buy properties in Aso Savings.
The BPE therefore wishes to state that the reports are not correct and clarifies as follows:
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.
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.
As a result, on 18th October, 2016, Aso Savings and Loans Plc proposed a repayment plan as follows:
- 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
- Cash repayment of N1.25 billion: This entailed a bullet transfer of N70million per month until the amount was extinguished.
Despite the arrangement, Aso Savings and Loans Plc. defaulted in meeting its obligations under the agreement. As a result, the Bureau has made several demands to ASL which has remained elusive till date.
It should be noted that some of the ASL properties that are habitable have been sold and the money received, paid into government treasury.
From the foregoing, there is nowhere that BPE officials diverted any fund or proceeds from the PHCN. The alleged diversion is therefore, a figment of the imagination of the writers of the reports. We appeal to the general public to discountenance the reports in their entirety.
Amina Tukur Othman
Head, Public Communications
November 4, 2020.