Reps panel alleges $753m, N1.61b indebtedness by ports operators
House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has alleged that port operators owe the government $852,093,730.77 and N1,878,560,509.57.
PAC chairman, Mr. Wole Oke, who confirmed the development, claimed that of the amount, $753 million and N1,609,150,534.32 have not been paid by the terminal operators.
He assured that the National Assembly would leave no stone unturned in ensuring total recovery of the debts. He said the debtors would be summoned before the committee to ascertain their indebtedness to the Federal Government and work out terms of payment.
He also promised to publicise identities of the debtors in national dailies and get them blacklisted from doing business with the government in future.
The finding by the committee was based on a report of the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, which queried Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over the indebtedness of about 18 terminal operators in the country.
According to the query, the amount formed part of the debt identified by the Auditor General as money standing against the terminal operators, as at December 31, 2019, in its report to the National Assembly.
The operators involved are at the Lagos, TinCan Island, Delta, Rivers, Onne and Calabar ports. The Office of the Auditor General, had, in its report on non-compliance/internal control weaknesses in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended December 31, 2019, said the operators owed the government the huge amounts.