Senate panel on public accounts has uncovered how Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) failed to remit $679.4 million realized from the concession of various ports granted to 23 companies under Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) for ten years.
The Committee chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide hinged the Investigation on Auditor General’s report which had been transferred to the Committee for consideration.
According to the query by AuGF, 23 companies were granted concessional rent at various Port under Nigerian Ports Authority for ten years and above associated yearly rent of $679.4 million payable to NPA as at 31st December.
But, there was no evidence to show that $679 million was collected as at when due and remitted to Consolidated Revenue Fund.
However, Bureau of Public Enterprise in its written response to the Senate’s Committee explained that the concession transactions were done in 2005 and the concession agreement executed clearly show that BPE was only a confirming party while the primary parties to the concessions are the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).
BPE explained that the responsibility for such collection, is that of NPA and not that of our agency.
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.”