The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, was suspended as part of moves to allow an independent audit of the accounts and remittance of the agency, documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES have shown.
According to details of a letter sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA from 2016 to 2020 was “far short of the amount due for actual remittance.”
In the letter, dated March 4, 2021, Mr Amaechi said within the stipulated years, the NPA recorded an outstanding unremitted balance of N165 billion (N165, 320, 962, 697).
Mr Amaechi thereafter suggested that the financial account of the NPA be investigated and audited.
In her response to the Chief of Staff, dated May 5, 2021, Ms Usman argued that the basis for arriving at the operating surplus of the NPA, upon which the budget office calculated the amount due as remittances to the federation account, was flawed and not in tune with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
She said the figures provided by the budget office as the operating surplus for 2017 and 2018 were higher than the actual figures derived from the NPA’s audited financial statements.
“Audited Financial Statements of the Authority for the period 2017 and 2018 provides operating surpluses of N76.782 billion and N71.480 billion for 2017 and 2018 respectively, as contrary to the sums of N133.084 billion and N88.79 billion arrived at by tour office from the budgetary submission,” she wrote.
She said in line with the template of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, the “accessible operating surplus” stood at N51.09 billion and N42.51 billion for the respective years. From there, due remittances (80 per cent of the amounts) to the government account stood at N40.873 billion and N34.065 billion respectively.
The NPA paid in N42.415 billion and N33.969 billion for the two years, she said.