The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority to explain the revenues accrued to the agency totalling N166.69bn as of December 31, 2016, which were not properly captured in its statement of account.
The committee is asking the minister and the NPA to explain the cost of services rendered to the Authority amounting to about N103.99bn, which was made up of channels and waterways maintenance at N65.130bn as well as ports and quays expenses amounting to N38.41bn.
The officials had been invited to especially respond to queries issued by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the financial statements of the NPA in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Amaechi and the leadership of the NPA were to appear before the committee on Thursday. However, journalists were informed that the investigative hearing had been shifted to July 8, 2021, following a communication received from the invitees.
The Auditor-General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, in an audit report, a copy of which our correspondent obtained on Thursday, stated the respective income from each of the services, scheduled oil terminal dues, details of pilotage and service boats and the nature of rentals services offered and rates applied.
The report stated that examination of the accounts revealed that the channels and waterways maintenance rose from N44.43bn in 2015 to N64.13bn in 2016, an increase of over N20bn.
The NPA was said to have incurred about N38.41bn as service charge on the Ports and Quays
The office, therefore, asked the NPA management to provide details of how these charges were incurred and what it meant by the term ‘others’ on which about N4.7bn was spent.
Furthermore, the auditor-general said an examination of the accounts of the NPA showed that Intels Integrated Services Limited was overpaid commission to the tune of N2.1bn.
Amaechi and the NPA are to also explain what happened to the dividend income of N643.01m received from their Joint Venture partners as well as interest income of about N97.8m and N28.7m being interest from bank deposits and interest on loans and receivables.
Other queries issued against the NPA included administrative expenses of N61bn, which included professional charges of N638m; donation and subscription of N1.88bn; exchange loss of N7.3bn; defined benefit expenses of N11.4bn; and director’s remuneration of N4.2m.
The office also identified what it called ‘understatement of depreciation charges’ to the tune of N6.4bn, stating that ‘the provision made against eight classes of property amounted to N4.47bn as against N10.89m arrived at during vetting’.