By Godwin Oritse
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has threatened legal action against some firms, including INTELS Nigeria Ltd that collected money on behalf of the agency but failed to remit it through the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account, TSA.
Disclosing this in Lagos last week, Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman said that no firm partnering with the authority will collect monies on its behalf and not remit such payments.
Bala said “ Intels was not complying with what has been stipulated by the Federal Government on TSA. No entity will stand in the way of the NPA in complying with the TSA. We have given INTELS a timeline to revert, to ensure that we collect the monies.
The NPA boss is working to recover huge debts being owed it by terminal operators and other companies totalling about $585 million.
The NPA boss disclosed this in Lagos, saying some of the debts of over 10 years have been classified as bad debts, but that the new management led by her was reviewing them, to ascertain the true situation.
Besides, the managing director stated, there was additional debts of N10 billion, which NPA was equally aiming to recover.
Also, the Authority would be recovering the sum of N400 million belonging to it, which is trapped in Aso Savings, and another $19 million in Heritage Bank.
“We also have debts from lease agreements, tenancy payments that have accrued over the years,” she said, but hinted that debts from encumbered leases could be removed from the books.
“We have developed a framework on debt collection. We want to reconcile a proper position of what our indebtedness is,” she also said.
The managing director also warned operators in the industry that they had no right to collect revenue on behalf of government and keep in their coffers.
Usman said: “We have put in place the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which we have communicated to leading players. We have given them timelines and we expect them to revert to us so that we can commence implementation. We have told them to begin to pay directly to the government”.