Posted by News Express | 14 August 2022 | 393 times
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has summoned the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and 18 terminal operators to appear before it and explain why the sum of $753million and 1.61 billion was not paid to the coffers of the Federal Government.
The summon followed the Committee’s deliberation on audit queries raised against the parties by the office of the Auditor-General to the Federation over the indebtedness of about 18 terminal operators doing business in the nation’s ports to the FG.
According to the query, the amounts form part of the debt identified by the Auditor-General as monies standing against the terminal operators as of December 31, 2019, in its report to the National Assembly.
The terminal operators are those operating at the Lagos port complex, TinCan Island port, Delta port, Rivers port Complex, Onne Port Complex and Calabar Port Complex respectively.
The nation’s financial Police Chief, had, in his report on non-compliance/internal control weaknesses issues on Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal government of Nigeria for the year ended 31st December 2019 said terminal operators were indebted to the government to the tune of 852.094 million dollars and N1, 878,560,509.57.
According to the document sighted by our correspondent, “agreements signed between NPA and various Terminal Operators states that a fixed annual payment of a sum as specified in the schedule below to be paid in (12) equal installments in each operating year, the first installment to be paid on the first day of the month after the effective date and then, on the same date of every month thereafter.”
However, in its response sent to the Public Accounts Committee of the House, the NPA management confirmed that the original debt owed the government by the port operators stood at $852,093,730.77 and N1, 878,560,509.57.
It said that out of the amount, $753 million and N1, 609,150,534.32 have not been paid by the terminal operators.
The query listed the terminal operators and their debt profile to include APM Terminal, Apapa ($562.060 million), Apapa Bulk Terminal ($4,621.20), and ENL Consortium ($957,020.77), Greenview Development ($20,750,443.65) and Standard Flour Mills ($893.77).
Others are Intels Nigeria Limited, operators of Terminal A at the Delta Ports Complex ($2,429,382.80), Intels Nigeria Limited, operators of Terminal B of the Delta Ports Complex ($4,589,576.75), and Associated Maritime Services ($328,027.64) and Greenleigh Ports Nigeria Limited ($1,734,492.41)
The rests are BUA Ports and Terminal Limited ($12,254,424.55), Port and Terminal Operators Nigeria Limited ($107,311,506.46), Brawal Shipping Nigeria Limited ($226,541.72), Intels Nigeria Limited at Onne Port Complex ($430,404.81), Intels Nigeria Limited also at Onne Port ($670,954.72), Intels Nigeria Limited also at the Onne Port ($1,928,250.44), Shoreline Logistics ($1,181,023.57).
It was discovered that three terminal operators (Tincan Container Terminal Limited with a debt of $4,043,004.90, Five Stars Logistics with a debt of $33,091,958.06, and Port and Cargo Handling Company with no debt) listed among the debtor terminal operators were cancelled on the document alongside Port and Cargo Handling Limited and Joseph Dam Port Services with the use of a pen and it could not be ascertained why their names were cancelled.
Also six of the 24 companies listed on the document (Port Terminal Multi Services Limited, Eko Support Services, Port and Cargo Handling Company, Joseph Dam Port Service Nigeria Limited, Julius Berger Services Nigeria Limited and Ecomarine Terminal) did not have any outstanding debt listed against them by the NPA.
Speaking on the high debts profile when he appeared before the Commîtee, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko raised concern over the inability of the Agency to recover it despite the concerted efforts made towards recovering it even up to seeking the assistance of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Responding, the Chairman of PAC, Oluwole Oke promised that the National Assembly would “wade into the matter in ensuring the recovery of the debts to the last Kobo”.
He said “to start with, all the debtors would be summoned to appear before the Committee to ascertain their indebtedness to the Federal Government and to workout terms of payment.
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