By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The House of Representatives has demanded explanation from management of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, over non-remittance into the federation account of the $852 million and N1.897 billion paid by terminal operators.
The demand made by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Wole Oke, weekend, followed the launch of a large scale investigation by the committee into the matter.
The probe came on the heels of 12 audit queries from the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the financial statement of the NPA for the 2019 financial year.
Of the number, NPA has only responded to one, which is the indebtedness of terminal operators to the government.
NPA, however, said the sum of N269.410 million of the N1.8 billion has been recovered, while the balance of N1.6 billion invoices processed on the encumbered areas remain unpaid.
NPA had said: “the sum of $504,663,452.37 is volume change on fix lease fee payment by, AP Moller Terminal, APMT, arising from clauses in the concession agreement between NPA and APMT out of the total sum of $852,093,730.77.
“Bills raised on encumbered areas which remained unpaid is $19,169,459.00. The following has been paid-GMT-$54,707,700.08, unpaid penalties- $11,922,642.68 and unpaid VAT-$28,693,707.07.
“$92,533,518.72 has been recovered leaving unpaid lease and Throughout fee in the sum of $139,970,637.71 (made up of $113,982,486.82 and $5,988,150.89) respectively.”
Showing displeasure with the explanation on the issue, the committee demanded evidence of payment on the remittance on the recovered N269.51 million and $92.534 million.
The committee asked for contract agreement/service level agreement, the list of all terminal operators as well as a comprehensive schedule of lease fee, throughout fee and GMT that makes up the total amount being owed the government by the operators.
The committee also resolved to invite the terminal operators for explanation on the payment of the fixed lease fee, throughput fee and GMT.
“The NPA should avail us a comprehensive lists /details/schedule of debtors who are owing 17,687,440,469.16 being shipping and service boat due. The Recovered amount and the outstanding debt must be stated against the name of each debtor.
“NPA should avail us a comprehensive lists /details/schedule of debtors who are owing $27,977,479.97 being shipping and service boat due. Recovered amount and outstanding debt must be stated against the name of each debtor.
“NPA should avail evidence of remittance of the recovered amount totalling $6,647,297.72 to government coffers. NPA to provide schedule of debts with 0-3 year’s age and list of in-house Committee responsible for the recovery,” Oke said.
The committee also invited one of the terminal operators, APMT, said to be owning the government a whopping $504.663 million.