• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Nigeria’s ports authority recovers N36.357bn outstanding debts

Nigeria’s ports authority recovers N36.357bn outstanding debts

The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday said it has recovered N36.357 billion outstanding debt, comprising $89 million and N2.404 billion owed by some corporate organisations.

Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, disclosed this during the investigative hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts into the 16 audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation against the agency.

Bala-Usman, who was represented by NPA’s General Manager (Finance), Emeka Ezugwu, also revealed plans by the agency to write off debts from 10 years and above.

Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke, who was worried by the disclosure, demanded for the statutory powers derived by NPA to recommend for writing-off of debts.

Oke requested for the list of all the affected properties, names of all the occupants, tenancy agreements and actual rent owed, for necessary legislative action.

He said the Committee would deploy similar intervention for Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in the recovery of outstanding debts.

The Committee also called for the unveiling of the owner and Board of Directors of Mangrove Tech, allegedly owned by the cousin of a former Nigerian President (name not mentioned) over the abandoned N7.5 billion contract awarded by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) since 2012 for shore reclamation and erosion protection with 14 months completion date.

According to the financial record audited by the oAuGF, the sum of N4.248 billion (56.61%) and N128 million insurance premium was paid leaving the balance of N344.265 million.

The Committee equally frowned at the sum of N539.453 million and N19.500 million paid for purchase of three Toyota Hilux by NPA with no documentary evidence of purchase; N13.500 million paid for annual running cost; N11.250 million compensation paid without any record of beneficiaries; N12.5 million paid for community relations as well as the sum of N128 million insurance paid for work and damages without any evidence of insurance policy.

The lawmakers also queried the presentation of NPA on the outstanding sum of N500 million allegedly owed the company despite failing to complete the project and threatened to adopt the recommendation of the oAuGF to sanction the NPA Managing Director for the infraction as well as the contreactor for failing to complete the project.

Some of the queries issued by the oAuGF include: “N54.354 million unpaid insurance claims owed by Alliance & General Insurance Plc; 3 Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep unaccounted for by the NPA which were given to the former NPA Board Chairman, late Chief Tony Anenih, and Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero; a former NPA Managing Director, Mr. Habib Abdullahi”.

Others are: “N500 million over-paid to contractors, and various Corporate Social Responsibility projects on construction of classroom blocks worth N25.8 million each in Enugu and Gombe states and health centres in Niger State”

Consequently, the Committee resolved to summon Managing Director of Kakatar Nigeria Limited over N7.5 billion abandoned project as well as the alleged N500 million owed by NPA.

It also summoned all the Managing Director/CEOs of Insurance companies engaged by NPA; just as it resolved to grant clemency to the late Tony Anenih over the unaccounted for Toyota Land Cruiser which he took away after leaving office as Chairman of the Board of NPA.