Nigeria: Buhari orders single govt bank account in corruption crackdown

Nigeria’s central bank on Wednesday said government ministries and departments were complying with a presidential order aimed at more transparency over revenues.

President Muhammadu Buhari, elected earlier this year on an anti-corruption ticket, had ordered all ministries to put revenues into a single account with the apex bank by Tuesday night.

With all financial transactions passing through a single bank account, it’s hoped this will end the practice of ministries and departments maintaining multiple accounts for government revenues, reducing the chance of fraud and improving monitoring.

Asked on Wednesday whether the deadline had been met, Central Bank of Nigeria spokesperson Mu’azu Ibrahim said: “So far so good. We are happy with the level of compliance by the ministries, departments and parastatals with the president’s directive on a Treasury Single Account (TSA).” 

Commercial banks are also making efforts to comply with the directive, and no extension to the deadline will be considered, he added. 

Buhari has pledged to trace and recover what he called “mind-boggling” sums of money stolen from the crude oil sector.

“Two hundred and fifty thousand barrels per day of Nigerian crude are being stolen and people sell and put the money into individual accounts,” he said. “I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them.” 

Since he came to power in May, he has launched a crackdown on corruption at the state-run oil firm, sacking the entire board and ordering an investigation into its finances. – AFP

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