Isaac Ombe

Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms.  Hadiza Bala Usman, says the Authority had remitted over N11.3 billion being part of the 2018 business operations’ surplus to the Federal Government coffers this year, contrary to allegations made against her by a member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Mohammed Hassan.

Citing the Senate Standing Orders 42 and 52, Senator Hassan had recently alleged on the floor of the Senate that, “against the spirits and provisions of the 1999 Constitution and extant laws of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the agency kept to itself N177billion operational surplus it made from accruing revenues in the 2017 fiscal year without remitting it into the federation

According to him, the his committee discovered that the agency, in its budget defence of the performance of the 2017 budget in April this year, got N303billion as total operational revenue out of which N125billion was taken by it as operational cost as allowed by extant laws, but refused to remit the balance of N177billion realised as surplus into the federation

But further putting the records straight, Bala Usman, insisted it had paid the 2017 surplus to the Federation Account, and even paid part of the 2018 surplus

In a statement made available to Journalists, the NPA boss  described the view of the ‘testifier’ as an “allegation without foundation,” having remitted a whopping sum of over N38 billion into the government

“With due respect to our distinguished senator, the Authority wishes to state that this allegation is without foundation. The facts of the situation are as follows: “Total revenue generated by the NPA in the Year 2017 stood at N303.9 billion.

“Total expenditure (inclusive of recurrent and capital) amounted to N205.8 billion.

“Of the N303.9 billion generated revenue, the sum of N60.12 billion represents uncollectable revenue from concessionaires attributed to clauses in the concession agreements, which the Authority is currently

“Consequently, the operating surplus for the Authority in 2017 was the sum of N38 billion.

“Therefore, the sum of N30.4 billion, which represents 80 per cent of the operating surplus that the Authority is required to remit to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. In line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, has been duly paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the Authority with receipt of payment already issued by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

“These computations arise from the Authority’s management account, pending the conclusion of the audit of the 2017 financial statement, which is

“It is pertinent to also note that the Authority has already remitted the sum of N11.3 billion for 2018 CRF contribution into the Consolidated Revenue Fund with the use of Authority’s management account ahead of auditing for 2018.

“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,” she explained.

The Managing Director appealed to the lawmakers to exercise greater restraint on issues that deal with the integrity of national institutions, in the course of their oversight functions.

However, at the Senate sitting, the Senator representing Kebbi South, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who is also the Deputy Senate Leader, came to the rescue of Bala Usman as he cautioned the Senate from believing the allegations made by Hassan, saying there are three categories of income derivable into accounts of any public agency .

Na’Allah advised the  Senate that it would be premature for it to attach legislative seriousness to Hassan’s allegations since the figures he quoted were not clear to be in the category of perceived income, drive income or accrued income.

“Mr. President (Senate president), as a lawyer, I studied taxation law, so we should not be in haste to conclude on the submission Hassan has just made,” Na’Allah had submitted.