By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Wole Oke has demanded explaination from the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, over nonremittance of millions of dollars by terminal operators and the agency into the federation account.
This followed the launch of a large scale investigation by the House 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 on the indebtedness of terminal operators to the government.
The amount involved is about $852.094 million and N1.897 billion.
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”.
It said “the sum of $504,663,452.37 is volume change on fix lease lease fee payment by APMT arising from clauses in the concession agreement between NPA and APMT out if 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 also 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 explaination on the payment of the fixed lease fee, Throughput fee and GMT.
“The NPA to 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 to 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 to 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 $504663 million dollars.