By Folasade Akpan
Abuja, Nov. 4, 2020 The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), says its officials did not divert N2.5 billion from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to buy property in Aso Savings and Loans (ASL).
BPE’s Head of Public Communications Amina Othman made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja
She said BPE wished to state that the reports were not correct as insinuated in some reports.
“On Feb. 25, 2014, the BPE got the approval of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) to establish a banking relationship with ASL.
“Subsequently, the bureau made a placement in the sum of N2.5 billion in the account to facilitate access to cheap finance for its staff housing scheme but the staff were not able to access the money.
“Following the Federal Government’s directive on Sept. 14, 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 ASL could not meet its deposit repayment obligations,” she said.
Othman said that as a result, ASL proposed a repayment plan of property swap valued at N1.52 billion on Oct. 18, 2016.
According to her, under the said arrangement, ownership of some completed property that were ready for sale would be ceded to the bureau in partial satisfaction of the stranded deposits and cash repayment of N1.25 billion.
She said this entailed a bullet transfer of N70 million per month until the amount was extinguished.
Othman said that in spite of the arrangement, ASL defaulted in meeting its obligations under the agreement.
She said the bureau had made several demands to ASL which had remained elusive till date.
“It should be noted that some of ASL property that are habitable have been sold and the money received and 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,” she said.
Othman, therefore, appealed to the general public to discountenance the reports in their entirety.