Reps Probe NPA, Terminal Operators Over N44bn Debt ‘Owed’- FG
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has begun investigating the $68.473 million (N44 billion) owed to the federal government by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Terminal operators.
The monies were lease and Throughput fees due to the federal government between 2006 and June 2022.
According to the Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke says they discovered the anomalies and infractions perpetrated in submissions to the Committee by the Managing Director (MD), NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko.
The NPA MD had alleged that one of the Port operators in charge of the Rivers Port and Terminal Operators (Nigeria) Limited used its own exchange rate in calculating revenue accruing to the federal government.
He informed that PTOL used N116 to the dollar in 2016 when the official exchange rate was fixed at N305 to the dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
They added that, despite the company using an exchange rate of N151 agreed to after reconciliation, was still allegedly indebted to the government to the tune of $68.473 million as at 13th October 2021.
In its defence, the company claimed that contrary to the report of the Auditor General, it had been paying its lease and Throughput fees to the Nigeria Port Authority as at when due.
PTOL claimed that no operation happened at the berth during the construction period of 2007 – 2009, hence loss of revenue and that 6 vessels were handled by NPA after the signing of the lease agreement. And a refund of 50% stevedoring was considered.
However, the NPA further revealed that the outstanding PTOL debt profile as at June 2019 against NPA records stood at $100,985,846.82 while PTOL acknowledged only $77,976,788.81.