THERE were revelations yesterday that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA has refused to remit a total sum of N713 billion to the Federation Account for a period of six years from 2009 to 2014.

According to the report of the Senator Adamu Aliero led Committee on Public Finance, which came under consideration at plenary, the NPA, which raked in N172 billion as of May 2014 as internally generated revenue, did not remit any kobo to the Federation Account.

The  report  disclosed that N91 billion was recorded as revenue by the NPA in 2009 while only N5.2 billion was returned as “remitted to federation account.”
The Committee, which alleged that the authority operates under an ambiguous and faulty framework that needed to be amended, cited lack of information on the form and content of concession agreement as part of the bait used by the NPA to perpetrate the high level fraud.

“The level of remittance when compared to revenue is ridiculously low and unstable in spite of the Authority’s explanation that a large percentage of the revenue was expended on operating costs and capital expenditure,” it said, adding that “information on concessionaires were not disclosed.”

The Committee therefore sought amendment of NPA’s law “regarding remittance of its surplus”to remove any provisions that contravene Section 162 of the constitution as it affected remittance of revenues into the federation account. “The laws of the Nigerian Port Authority and Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency should be harmonized to avoid conflicts and promote collaboration and synergy.”

According to statistical findings by the Committee, in 2010, the NPA generated N102 billion and remitted N3.5billion, amounting to 3.5 per  cent. In 2011, N120billion was generated, but a paltry N1billion was remitted, representing 0.8 per cent. In 2012, it generated N128billion and  remitted N17.8billion, amounting to 13 per cent while in 2013 the agency realised N131billion and remitted N3.2billion, representing 2.4 per cent.

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