Bank accounts missing in NPF financial statements

  • P5 million housed by Stanbic unaccounted for
  • Kgori Capital implicated in unaccounted funds
  • P60 million at Bank Gaborone not accounted for
  • Auditor General says NPF management committee dysfunctional

GAZETTE REPORTER

There are several bank accounts which were opened by fund managers on behalf of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) housing almost P70 million which are yet to be accounted for, an audit report by the Auditor General, released on 28 May 2018 reveals.
The report was prepared for the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
On the 13th of May 2016, an amount of P60 million was transferred from the NPF current account at Stanbic Bank to another account belonging to the Fund at Bank Gaborone for the procurement of Government strategic oil stock through state owned oil company Botswana Oil. The transaction, was done as per the instructions of former Director Kenneth Kerekang to Fund Managers Kgori Capital. According to Auditor General Pulane Letebele, this account at Bank Gaborone is not listed among the Fund’s bank accounts and does not appear in any financial statements.
Following the termination of Fund Management Services Agreement with Stanlib Asset Management in December 2015, Basis Points Capital were appointed as consultants in terms of the agreement dated 16th December 2015 for the provision of technical advisory services for the review of energy sector projects and programmes at a price of P15 680 045. Letebele’s audit reveals that although the signed agreement provided for the financial and investment services as the main obligations of the consultant, the itemized pricing making up the tender amount did not include pricing for these services. She said it is for this reason that Afena Capital (now Kgori Capital) offered themselves as Investment Managers at a price of 0.80 percent of total assets per annum, which was accepted by officers at the Department of Energy through an interim mandate, pending the signing of a formal agreement, which Letebele says was never done.
In the report, Pulane Letebele, the Auditor General, wrote that a perusal of documents relating to the Fund revealed more accounts, other than those for which bank statements were submitted when requested for audit.
Letebele wrote in the report that she had in her 2013/14 audit of the Fund accounts indicated that the fund had a USD call account at Stanbic Bank, with a closing balance of USD 647 044, an equivalent of P5 829 229. She said the account was not included in the financial statements together with the interest it generated. “As I have not received comments on this account, I am not aware of its status as it continued to be omitted from the financial statements to date,” she wrote.  During that time, Stanlib Asset Management was fund managers to the NPF before they were terminated in 2015, paving way for Kgori Capital.
It emerges that the Department of Energy signed a Small Scale Fund Agreement with the United Nations Enviromental Programme (UNEP) for promotion of clean fuels and vehicles to be supported by a bank account called Low Sulphur Fuels. In March 2016, the Department of Energy asked Kgori Capital, then called Afena Capital to open an account into which an amount of US$83 906 (over P830 000) would be transferred from the UNEP to the Department of Energy in installments. An amount of US$50 640 (Over P500 000) was already available for use at the time. “It was observed that the account was not included in the financial statements of the fund for the financial years ended 31 March 2016 and 2017.
Letebele said these findings point to a serious laxity in the management of financial affairs of the NPF which permitted lack of clarity in relationships between the NPF and the various third party entities to be a regular feature of the business. She said all the current assets and interest income of the NPF should be reconciled and accounted for in the financial statements.

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