NPA to refund N40.13b, $921.64m to Fed Govt’

The Auditor-General for the Federation has indicted the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) for failure to recover and remit N40.126 billion, $921.636 million and 289,931.82 pounds to government treasury from various revenue sources in 2019.

This was contained in 13 audit queries for the NPA signed by the Auditor-General, Adolphus Aghughu and submitted to the National Assembly.

The report said an agreements signed between NPA and various terminal operators stated that: ”A fixed annual payment of a sum as specified in the schedule be paid in 12 equal installments in each operating year, the first installment to be paid on the first day of the month after the effective date and then, on the same date of every month thereafter.”

It said the terminal operators failed to comply with the lease agreements in terms of their obligations relating to payment of fixed and throughput fees over the period, thereby holding back $852,093,730.77 and N1,878,560,509.57 that should have been remitted to the NPA fo the period.

It said further that estate tenants, shipping companies and service boats operating from the ports were hugely indebted to NPA to the tune of $67.425 million and N32.266 billion outstanding as estate rent, shipping due and service boats.

It said sizeable percentages of these debts were non performing or dormant due to long period of non-settlement, leading to loss of revenue to government and possible diversion of government revenue to unauthorized users.

It frowned at the inability of the NPA to determine the status of about N5.260 billion and $1.250 million long outstanding debt, adding that all efforts to know their current status was not successful as relevant information was not provided.

It also queried the award of contract for the shore erosion control works at Akipelai, Ayakoro and Otuoke towns in Bayelsa State. It was awarded to a company and mobilization fees paid without a performance guarantee which is a pre-condition for the award of any procurement contract upon which mobilization fee is required.

The Audit report also queried the irregular payment for rehabilitation of Port Harcourt port road network and water distribution system to the tune of N1.847 billion, irregular payment for the restoration of power supply to Tin Can Island Port.

It also frowned at the irregularity in the award of contract for the construction of delivery and commissioning of MDPE channel marking bouys in foreign currency, irregular payment for the supply for fire alarms communication and office equipment for Lagos port complex and irregular payment for the supply of fire alarms communication and office equipment for Ikorodu lighter terminal.

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