SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicate mystery projects

The federal government is set to start an investigation by Hadiza Bala-Usman, suspended chief executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Monday into the alleged failure to hand over another operating surplus. of 165 billion naira to the Treasury (CRF) by the leadership of the NPA under his leadership.

It’s as some reports suggest that the Administrative Investigation Group, led by the Director of the Navy at the Federal Ministry of Transport, may also expand the scope of its investigation in line with presidential approval to verify the NPA’s accounts.

According to the Punch, sighted documents showed the government discovered discrepancies in the NPA’s remittance of operating surpluses to the Treasury for 2 consecutive years under Bala-Usman’s leadership.

The results of the report reported that a total of around 73.61 billion naira (56.3 billion naira in 2017 and 17.31 billion naira in 2018), which was generated over the 2-year period, did not was not handed over to the CRF as planned by the government, The boss of NPA provided explanations to the contrary.

In addition, the Federal Ministry of Transport, in a May 4, 2021 letter to the president, claimed that the NPA had not remitted 165.32 billion naira to the CRF from 2016 to 2020 and called for an investigation and an audit of the authority’s financial accounts.

Suspended NPA CEO responds to audit investigation

In a letter, referring to MD / 17 / MF / VOL-XX / 541, dated May 5, 2021, and addressed to the President’s Chief of Staff, Bala-Usman said the NPA was aware of the Buhari’s approval for the Federal Ministry of Transportation to conduct an audit of the NPA’s accounts and its remittances to the CRF.

The letter was titled, “Subject: Request to Record Remittance of Operating Surplus to Consolidated Revenue Fund Account by the Nigerian Ports Authority.”

In the letter, she explained that the NPA’s audited financial statements provided operating surpluses in 2017 and 2018 that were contrary to what the President’s Office of the Chief of Staff concluded.

The letter stated that the presidential approval for the audit of the NPA’s accounts stemmed from correspondence between the Federation’s budget office and the Federal Ministry of Transport in which the budget office noted a deficit in remittances from authority at CFR.

The letter read in part: “The authority’s audited financial statements for the period 2017 and 2018 show operating surpluses of Naira 76.782 billion and Naira 71.480 billion for 2017 and 2018 respectively, in contrast to the amounts of Naira 133.084 billion and 88.79 billion. naira established by your office. of the budget submission. “

“We would like to state that the basis of authority for arriving at operating surplus on which the amount due for disbursement to CFR is guided by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as amended.

It is further based on the statutory mandate Part 1, S.3 (1) (b) and (d) by which the FRC published a template for the calculation of the operating surplus for the purpose of calculating the amount to submit to CRF.

Consequently, the figures thus provided by the Budget Office of the Federation as an operating surplus for the respective years on the basis of which they arrived at the deficit come from the presentation of the budgetary provision and not from the actual amounts obtained at following the statutory audit of the authority’s financial statements. . “

She argued that according to the model released by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, the authority’s accessible operating surplus amounted to N51.09 billion and N42.51 billion for 2017 and 2018. respectively.

“This amount will result in a payment due to the CFR in the amount of 40.873 billion naira and 34.065 billion naira representing 80% of the surplus for the year 2017 and 2018 respectively.

As a result, the authority made a disbursement of 42.415 billion naira and 33.969 billion naira for the years 2017 and 2018 respectively for the total amount required as a disbursement for the period. “

Bala-Usman also noted, “But so far the authority has made a disbursement of 31.683 billion naira for the 2019 transfer. The sum of 51.049 billion naira has also been disbursed so far for 2020 pending audited financial statements. in order to determine the final amount required for 2019 and 2020, when the authority will make the payment of the balance as needed. ”

She stated that based on the above, the authority wished to clarify that the calculation of its remittances to the CFR was concluded from audited financial statements using the template provided to the authority by the Commission of the fiscal responsibility and not a budgetary provision.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics announced about 2 days ago the approval of an immediate suspension of NPA chief executive Hadiza Bala-Usman by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The suspension of Usman should allow the commission of inquiry to be set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport, to investigate the management of the agency to carry out this task.

The presidential approval, which follows the recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Transport, also approved Mr. Mohammed Koko, executive director of finance and administration, as interim director general.

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