House Grills NPA MD over N5.1bn Renovation Contract

A cross section of members during plenary

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House of Representatives has queried the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over N5.1 billion contract awarded for the renovations of its corporate headquarters in Lagos.

The Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) had raised a query on the contract awarded in 2011, with a completion period of 15 months, but without a valid signed contractual agreement with the contracting firm.

The query alleged that as at 2013 when the contract ought to have been completed and money paid out, there was no valid signed contractual agreement in place.

But the NPA Managing Director, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman, while appearing before the House Committee on Public Accounts yesterday, explained that the contract was awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), adding that available records showed that it was a valid contractual agreement.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Wole Oke, expressed reservation over the “award of such a magnificent contract worth billions of naira without a valid signed contractual agreement as alleged in the query.”

He insisted that only the original copy of the signed agreement would clear the agency of the audit query

The Committee, however, ruled that the audit query be stepped down for the agency to produce the original copy, as the available photocopies of the documents presented before the Committee were not readable.

Meanwhile, the meeting between the House Committee on Works and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) was abruptly suspended last Wednesday due to the absence of the Director-General, Mr. Mamman Ahmadu.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abubakar Abubakar, decried the absence of Ahmadu, describing it as unacceptable.

Though, the director-general was represented by a director of the agency, Abubakar insisted that he should have communicated the reason for his absence in writing.

The investigative hearing was adjourned following the adoption of a motion of suspension moved by Hon. Dandutse Mohammed and seconded by Hon. Ari Mohammed..