We have remitted N30.4bn 2017 operating surplus, NPA replies Senate
MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has denied any wrong doings in its 2017 financial transactions, saying it has already remitted the total sum of N30.4 billion not N177bn to Consolidated Federation Account, contrary to allegations by the Senate, Nigeria’s upper legislative chambers.
The Senate had on Wednesday resolved to probe an allegation of non-remittance of N177bn operational surplus made by the NPA into the Consolidated Federation Account; a decision that was based on a motion raised by a member of the Committee on Marine Transport, Mohammed Hassan from Yobe State South.
Hassan had, citing Senate Standing Orders 42 and 52, alleged that contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and extant laws of the NPA, the agency kept to itself N177bn operational surplus it made from accruing revenues in the 2017 fiscal year, without remitting it into the Federation Account.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had based on the motion directed the committee’s chairman, Ahmed Yerima from Zamfara State West to meet with all members of the committee on the allegation. The President asked that the committee to report back to the Senate within three days.
Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, who spoke through a statement, noted that total revenue generated by the authority in the year 2017 stood at N303.9bn while the total expenditure, which include both recurrent and capital amounted to N205.8billion
According to her, out of the N303.9billion generated revenue, the sum of N60.12billion represents uncollectable revenue from concessionaires attributed to clauses in the concession agreements, which the authority is currently reviewing, while the operating surplus for the authority in 2017 was the sum of N38billion.
The Managing Director also noted that from the foregoing, the sum of N30.4billion, which represents 80 per cent of the operating surplus that the authority is required to remit to the CRF in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, has been duly paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund with receipt of payment already issued by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
She also noted that these computations arise from the authority’s management account pending the conclusion of the audit of the 2017 financial statement, which is currently in progress, insisting that the authority has already remitted the sum of N11.3billion for 2018 CRF contribution into the Consolidated Revenue Fund with the use of the authority’s management account ahead of auditing for 2018.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority has been drawn to newspaper reports alleging that the authority has failed to remit the sum of N177b operating surplus from its 2017 revenue to the Consolidated Federation Account. The allegation, according to the reports, emanated from discussions that followed a motion at the plenary of the Senate on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
“With due respect to our distinguished Senators, the authority wishes to state that this allegation is without foundation. The authority wishes to state its readiness to present all documents needed to provide clarification to the Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the Senate.
“On a final note, while we appreciate the constitutional oversight role of distinguished Senators on the operations of the NPA, we suggest greater restraint on issues that deal with the integrity of national institutions even as we assure of our respect for the Senate”.
Meanwhile, recall that a twist was introduced to the matter when the chairman of the committee, Senator Sani Yerima denied knowledge of Hassan’s allegation and therefore disassociated himself and other committee members from the allegation.
He said Hassan, as a member of the committee, did not raise such issue at any of the committee’s sittings before raising the alarm on the floor of the Senate, insisting that as chairman of the committee, he was not aware of this allegation raised against NPA by Senator Hassan and did not think any other member of the committee was aware.