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Senate summons Ahmed, AG over N7.6bn secret withdrawal alleged

The Senate Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over an alleged secret withdrawal of N7.5bn from the two per cent National Automotive Design and Development Council Levy Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The issue of the alleged secret withdrawal was contained in the report of the auditor-general, currently being scrutinised by both chambers of the National Assembly.

The report indicated that the first tranche of N3.8bn was withdrawn in two installments of N2.8bn in 2005 and N1bn in 2006.

The second tranche of N3.7bn, the report added, was withdrawn between March and December 2000 in three separate payments of N725m, N1bn and N2bn.

The chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, on Wednesday asked the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council,

Jelani Aliyu, about the transaction. He said the money was withdrawn without the knowledge of the agency.

He said the agency had been writing to the accountant-general and the Ministry of Finance on the need to refund the money but that there was no response.

The Senate Committee therefore resolved to summon the Minister of Finance and the Accountant-General of the Federation to give further explanations about the fund.

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