Senate probes alleged non-remission of N177b by NPA
The Senate yesterday ordered a comprehensive investigation into alleged failure by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to remit N177 billion operating surplus.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe State), it directed its committee on marine transport to probe the allegation and report back in three days.
Relying on Order 42 of the Senate Standing Rule 2015 (as amended), the lawmaker told his colleagues that the NPA reported a gross revenue of N303 billion in 2017, out of which N177 billion operating surplus was unaccounted for.
Hassan, while moving the motion, submitted that against the spirits and provisions of the 1999 constitution and extant laws of the NPA, the agency kept the money to itself.
He said the money was made from accruing revenues in the 2017 fiscal years, without remitting it into the federation account.
According to him, the committee discovered that the agency in its budget defence of the performance of the 2017 budget in April this year, got N303 billion as total operational revenue.
He added that out of this, it took N125 billion as operational costs as allowed by extant laws, but refused to remit the balance of N177 billion.
“We raised these fundamental observations to the management of the NPA and for six months, we have not heard anything from them.
But the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi south), cautioned the senate against relying on Hassan’s allegation.
He explained that there are three categories of income derivable into accounts of any public agencies.
The deputy leader advised the Senate that it would be premature to attach legislative seriousness to Hassan’s allegation, since the figures he quoted are not clear to be in the category of perceived income, drive income or accrued income.
Responding, Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima (APC Zamfara West) disassociated himself and other committee members from the allegation.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North), in his contributions, urged the senate leadership to compel the committee members to meet over it before bringing it up for general debate, in line with procedures and process of law making.
Ruling on the matter, Senate President Bukola Saraki, asked the committee to look into the matter and report back in three days.