The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has indicted the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) over its failure to recover and remit N40.126 billion, $921.636 and £289,931.82 to the government’s treasury from various revenue sources in the 2019 financial fiscal year.
These were contained in 13 audit queries for the NPA signed by the Auditor-General, Adolphus Aghughu and submitted to the National Assembly for further legislative action.
The report disclosed that an agreement signed between NPA and various terminal operators stated that, “a fixed annual payment of a sum as specified in the schedule be paid in 12 equal installments in each operating year, the first installment to be paid on the first day of the month after the effective date and then, on the same date of every month thereafter.”
It also stated that the terminal operators failed to comply with the lease agreements in terms of their obligations relating to payment of fixed 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 for the period.
It stated further that estate tenant’s, shipping companies and service boats operating from the ports were hugely indebted to the NPA to the tune of $67.425 million and N32.266 billion outstanding as rent, shipping due and service boats.
It noted that sizeable percentages of the debts were non- performing or dormant due to long period of non-settlement, leading to loss of revenue to government and possible diversion of government revenue to unauthorised users.
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.
It frowned at the irregularity in the award of contract for the construction of delivery and commissioning of MDPE channel marking bouys in foreign currency, irregular payment for the supply for fire alarms communication and office equipment for Lagos port complex and irregular payment for the supply of fire alarms communication and office equipment for Ikorodu lighter terminal.
The Public Accounts Committees of both Chambers of the National Assembly are expected to grill the management of the NPA on resumption with a view to recovering the missing funds as advised by the Auditor General of the Federation.