The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been faulted by the House of Representatives for allegedly withholding $21.3 million and €6,626,429.59 from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the federal government.
Altogether, over $995.71 million were allegedly lodged outside the TSA by some government agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Federal Ministry of Environment among others.
This followed the adoption of the report by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Ascertain the Proceeds of the TSA to Enhance Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance on Thursday.
NPA’s component of the funds outside the TSA is made up of the 6.62 million Euros seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the $21.3 million trapped in Heritage Bank since 2016.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, had confirmed to the House Adhoc committee that undertook the investigation that some of its funds were held outside the TSA.
She had alleged that Heritage Bank had failed to remit the money despite the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She told the committee chaired by Mr. Danburam Abubakar-Nuhu that Heritage Bank’s reason for not remitting the money is that “if such a huge withdrawal is allowed, it will have stress on the bank.”
On the other hand, Usman said another sum of 6.62 million euros from its Cargo Tracking Services operations and kept by First City Monument Bank for NPA was “suddenly” seized by the EFCC.
“The EFCC suddenly moved the 6m euros from FCMB to their own account; they just unilaterally swept the money”, the NPA chief executive stated.
When the committee asked why the anti-graft agency seized the money, Usman replied that no clear reasons were given.
Although the committee had summoned the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to appear before it and the explain their action, he failed to show up.
The committee also picked holes in NPA’s transaction with Intels which manages the oil and gas terminal at One, Rivers State. “Further investigations revealed to the committee (that) a whopping value of $569,162,083.80 as Intels’ obligation to the NPA. On the other hand, Intels’ submitted to the ad hoc committee in 2017 an outstanding obligation to the NPA as $862.2m. The difference from the two submissions might have been after Intels have made additional payment to the NPA after the NPA submission to the committee,” the report read.
Usman, who also answered questions on the relationship between NPA and Intels, said the parties resolved their differences after Intels agreed to comply with the TSA policy.
She disclosed that effective from November 1, 2018, Intels started remitting all revenues it collected on behalf of the NPA into the TSA.
However, she disclosed that Intels had not remitted an outstanding revenue of over $130 million, which it collected for 10 months prior to November 1.