The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) has discovered that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) failed to remit $679.4 million generated annually from port concessions granted to 23 companies under the Nigerian Port Authority for more than ten years (NPA).
Senator Matthew Urhoghide, who chairs the Committee, based the investigation on the Auditor General’s report, which had been forwarded to the Committee for review.
The Panel is currently investigating the Auditor General’s report to the National Assembly for the period 2016-2018.
According to AuGF’s inquiry, 23 companies were granted concessional rent at various ports under the Nigerian Ports Authority for ten years and above, with an associated yearly rent of $679.4 million payable to NPA as of December 31st.
However, there was no evidence that $679 million was collected and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund on time.
However, in a written response to the Senate Committee, the Bureau of Public Enterprise explained that the concession transactions took place in 2005, and that the concession agreement clearly shows that BPE was only a confirming party to the concessions, while the Nigerian Port Authority was the primary party to the concessions (NPA).
BPE clarified that NPA, not our agency, is responsible for such collection.
BPE added, “Having midwife the concession transactions. The BPE collected some of the remittance to the NPA.
” The NPA has since acknowledged the transfer made regarding the rentals received on its behalf by the Bureau.
“Revenue accruing on the Ports concession have, beyond 2008, been paid directly to “Landlord”, NPA and not the BPE as the OAuGF report appears to allege.
“We are therefore unaware of the $679.4 million.”
The AuGF query reads, “Twenty-three (23) companies were granted concessional rent of various Ports under Nigerian Ports Authority for ten years and above with associated yearly rent of $679,403,172.00 (Six hundred and seventy-nine million, four hundred and three thousand one hundred and seventy-two dollars) payable to NPA as at 31st December, 2016.
“There is no evidence to show that the sum of $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 19th April, 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 the sum of $679,403,172.00 was collected and remitted to the appropriate authority.”