Abiodun OBA

 

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) has been queried over its failure to recover and remit N40.126 billion, $921.636 million and £289,931.82 to the coffers of the federal government from various revenue sources in 2019.

 

Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation showed its dissatisfaction in 13 audit queries to NPA signed by the Auditor-General, Adolphus Aghughu and submitted to the National Assembly for appropriate action.

The report made a disclosure of an agreement entered into by NPA and various terminal operators.

“A fixed annual payment of a sum as specified in the schedule be paid in 12 equal instalments in each operating year, the first instalment to be paid on the first day of the month after the effective date and then, on the same date of every month thereafter”, the report stated.

The report further stated that if the terminal operators failed to comply with the lease agreements in terms of their obligations relating to payment of fixed and throughput fees over the period, thereby holding back $852,093,730.77 and N1,878,560,509.57 that should have been remitted to the NPA fo the period.

It said further that Estate Tennant’s, shipping companies and service boats operating from the ports were hugely indebted to NPA to the tune of $67.425 million and N32.266 billion outstanding as estate rent, shipping due and service boats.

It frowned at the inability of the NPA to determine the status of about N5.260 billion and $1.250 million long outstanding debt, adding that all efforts to know their current status was not successful as relevant information was not provided.

The auditor general also queried the award of contract for the shore erosion control works at Akipelai, Ayakoro and Otuoke towns in Bayelsa State.

Mobilization fees were said to have been paid for the contract without a performance guarantee, being one of the prerequisites for the award of any procurement contract upon which “mobilization fee is required”.

The Audit report also queried the irregular payment for rehabilitation of Port Harcourt port road network and water distribution system to the tune of N1.847 billion, irregular payment for the restoration of power supply to Tin Can Island Port.

Consequently, the Public Accounts Committees of both chambers of the National Assembly are expected to meet with the Management of the NPA on the irregularities next week.

 

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