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Senate uncovers $679.4m unremitted from ports concession since 2015

By John Akubo, Abuja
06 January 2022   |   3:55 am
Senate Panel on Public Accounts has uncovered how Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) failed to remit $679.4 million realised from concession of various ports.

PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Senate Panel on Public Accounts has uncovered how Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) failed to remit $679.4 million realised from concession of various ports.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, hinged the investigation on a query by Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF).

According to the query, 23 companies were granted concessional rent at various ports under Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for 10 years. The associated yearly rent of $679.4 million was payable to NPA as at December 31. But there was no evidence to show that the money was collected as at when due and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

However, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), in its written response to the committee, explained that the concession transactions were done in 2005 and that the agreement executed clearly showed that BPE was only a confirming party, while the primary party to the concessions was NPA.

The AuGF query reads: “Twenty-three companies were granted concessional rent of various ports under NPA for 10 years and above with associated yearly rent of $679,403,172.00, payable to NPA as at December 31, 2016. There is no evidence to show that $679,403,172.00 was collected as at when due and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“This has been communicated to the Bureau vide letter with reference No. OAuGF/RESAD/05/2016/07 dated April 19, 2018. No response has been received from the Bureau. Unremitted funds may be misapplied by the Bureau. Also, it may lead to diversion of funds to other uses. The Director General is required to show evidence that $679,403,172.00 was collected and remitted to the appropriate authority.”