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Fraud: How First Bank, Heritage, Fcmb Allegedly Concealed Billions Of Npa Funds

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 14, (THEWILL) – The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has uncovered fraud totalling N11.23 billion at the agency lodged in three deposit money banks in the country.

Reports indicate that the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, since assumption of duties, on July 18, has been going through the books of the maritime agency and discovered a series of transactions suspected to be fraudulent and amounting to N11.23billion.

Sources revealed that the funds were collected by the banks as revenue for NPA, but failed to move it into NPA's Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria and were earning interests.

About $24.1million (N7.47billion at N310 per dollar) was allegedly traced to Heritage Bank, the successor bank to the defunct Societe Generale Bank while another six million Euros (N2.09billion at N348 to a dollar) was allegedly concealed in two banks – First Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank.

There are indications that the banks have been busted and pressed to release the agency's funds in their custody.

Meanwhile, Usman is unwilling to provide details of the alleged funds because the Minister supervising the authority, Rotimi Amaechi, has not been briefed.