…criticises poor revenue drive
By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJAâ€”THE Senate Committee on Marine Transport yesterday queried the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, over the poor implementation of the 2009 budget while describing its 2010 budget proposal as uncalled-for.
Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Umar at a meeting with NPA Managing Director, Abdulsalam Muhammed who was at the National Assembly to defend its 2010 budget also criticised the poor revenue drive of the agency.
He said, â€œFor example, total recurrent expenditure for year 2009 was N44, 666, 407 billion while 2010 proposal is N52,612,451 billion.
â€œWhat is the justification for the increase, given the poor performance of the previous yearâ€™s budget? Out of the 14 projected sources of revenue of the authority, only four were attaint at 100 per cent level.â€
The committee also noted that the authority also made an increase in its staff cost from N33.56 billion in 2009 to N42.26 billion in 2010.
Having failed to meet its revenue project for 2009, the committee was doubtful that the NPA will not be able to N120 billion in 2010.
The committee also decried the NPA’s Managing Director for handling the concessioning of some functions of the authority in secrecy and the non- payment of retirement benefits of staff.
According to Senator Abubakar, the committee has been inundated with over two-third of petitions from former staff of the authority alleging wrongful termination of appointments.
His words, â€œThe committee continue to receive complaints from pensionersâ€™ association and the leadership of the Senate over the non-payment of pension entitlements by the authority.
â€Thus is surprising because there is adequate budgetary provision for this matter yearly in the authorityâ€™s budget,â€ he said.
Alhaji Muhammed while defending the Authority said he was confident that the NPA will meet it projected revenue target for the year 2010 having done a careful assessment of the foreign exchange market.