Since the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has revealed at the resumed hearing at the House of Representatives that Heritage Bank’s reason for not remitting the money ($21.3m) is that “if such a huge withdrawal is allowed, it will have stress on the bank,” financial experts have started reading critical meaning to the revelation.
Usman was responding to the questions posed by the ad hoc committee of the House investigating compliance with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy by government agencies on Wednesday in Abuja.
She recalled that “We wrote the CBN a number of letters and they promised to provide a guarantee. Up till date, they have not given us the guarantee”.
While hinting that all efforts to get the bank to remit the money into the TSA had so far met a brick wall, NPA boss noted that series of interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria to retrieve the money had failed.
Accordingly, an expert who looked at the development on grounds of anonymity blamed the CBN for not being sincere with its checks and stress test on banks.
He said “The CBN had been in the habit of jumping out every time to deceive Nigerians and the economy that all banks are safe and healthy when a bank cannot comfortably take a facility given to it to keep to another place. It means; the bank is having unsettled issues either with the NPA or itself; two, the CBN is not telling Nigerians the truth on the health of some banks after all.
Business Hilights recalls that both the World Bank and even the African Development Bank (AfDB) had at various fora, called for another round of stress test for the banking industry, but the CBN had remained silent on the matter.