NPA threatens court action against operators over non-remittance of funds
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened legal action against some firms that collected money on behalf of the agency and failed to remit same through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos yesterday to mark her 100 days in office.
She said the agency is currently looking at strategic measures to recoup the debts which is about N250 billion.
Meanwhile, she warned all contractors to deliver projects according to specific standards, as the authority would soon begin to blacklist erring contractors.
Usman disclosed that the contract for renovation of NPA headquarters, which she said had run for five years without meaningful progress has been terminated.
She also said the NPA has notified all operators in the industry that no one has the right to collect revenue and keep same in their coffers on behalf of government.
According to her: “We have put in place the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which we have communicated to leading players like Intels Limited. We have given them timelines and we expect them to revert to us so that we can commence implementation. We have told them to begin to pay directly to the government. Any invoice of payment that is required to be treated should be sent to us and we will pay the company at a stipulated time.”
She said some of the debt by the terminal operators was classified as bad debt, adding that the NPA can only see them as such if due legal process had been followed.
“We also have debts from lease agreements, tenancy payments that have accrued over the years. The NPA has a process of continued billing the leasing of lands that those it leased them to have no access to the properties. When an agency leases a property to you and you have no access to the property how do you pay them? The NPA continued to bill the entities and considered it as debt.
“We are looking at reverting some of the lease allocations because the fundamental to leasing is that the lessee has to be able to take occupation.”
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