Senate probes Nigeria Ports Authority over N177billion unremitted fund

Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority
Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority

The Nigerian Senate has given its committee on Marine Transport three days to determine if a N177 billion unremitted fund is still in the custody of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).

A member of the committee, Mohammed Hassan, called the attention of his colleagues to the issue while raising a point of order on Wednesday.

Mr Hassan said the agency in 2017 made a gross revenue of N303 billion, out of which N125 was spent but the remaining N177 billion was not remitted to the federal government.

It is assumed that Mr Hassan gave the figure based on approximation as N125 billion and N177 billion will amount to N302 billion.

The lawmaker said the management of the agency has rebuffed every move by the Senate to ascertain the whereabouts of the fund.

“NPA recorded a gross revenue of N303 billion,” Mr Hassan (PDP, Yobe South) said.

“Meanwhile, its expenditure for that year was N125 billion. Therefore, there was N177 billion operating surplus that was recorded. Not a single dime was reported to have been remitted either to the consolidated revenue fund or to the general reserve fund. We raised this with the management of NPA. Till today, seven months after, we have not heard from them.

“The question is, where is this N177 (billion)? It has not been reported, we have not heard from them seven months after.”

In his contribution, chairman of the committee, Ahmed Yerima, said Mr Hassan ought to have brought up the issue at the committee level and not plenary. His position was corroborated by Mao Ohabunwa.

In granting Mr Hassan’s prayer, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, ruled that the committee look into the issue and give a report within the next three days.

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