First Bank has denied violating the Federal Government’s directive on the Treasury Single Account in respect of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation dollar account.
The bank in a statement on Saturday by its Corporate Affairs Manager, Babatunde Lasaki, said the Central Bank of Nigeria was aware of the account which had $3.7 bn, but had been depleted to $469.4 million by August 29, 2016.
The Brass/ Liquefied Natural Gas Account Number, 2011104669, domiciled with the First Bank, was blocked on a court order secured by the Special Investigation Panel headed by Ali Amodu, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police. The SIP in its report, said the account balance was not remitted to the CBN and subsequently blocked it. It also quizzed FBN and CBN officials over it. But FBN denied any wrongdoing, stating that the account was operated in line with regulatory requirements.
It said, “Our attention has been drawn to a recent media publication on a purported indictment of FirstBank in failing to disclose balances on a client’s account to Central Bank of Nigeria. “For the avoidance of doubt we state unequivocally that the allegation is false. “It is pertinent also to state that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts are fully disclosed to the CBN and are operated in line with regulatory requirements. “First Bank reiterates that the allegation is totally untrue as the bank remains a responsible corporate Institution and adheres to all extant rules and regulations.”