16 December 2016, Abuja — THE Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, said yesterday, that the country lost $248,238,305 and N3.558 billion (about $16.17 million) between 2009 and 2015 to indiscriminate waivers.
This is just as the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways has expressed worry over what it described as executive interference by the immediate past administration that incapacitated the House from carrying out its legislative functions.
NPA in a document it presented to the House Committee chaired by Rep Patrick Asadu, stated: “As a result of the Federal Government’s approval for 50 per cent rebate to petroleum product vessels berthing at private jetties, NPA has waived $248,238,305.80 and N3,558,148,366.98 as amounts that would have accrued as revenue from 2009 to October 2015.”
But the Acting Managing Director of NPA, Hassan Bello, failed to comment on whether the process leading to the concession of the ports was satisfactory.
Bello told the committee that NPA generated N128.213 billion between January and September 2015 and that N5,806,822,000 was remitted to Consolidated Revenue Fund.
He also said the authority generated N162.184 billion in 2014 and that N11,023,350,000 was remitted to CRF; N154.580 billion generated in 2013, with N493,895,000 remitted to CRF; N140.251 billion in 2012 while N20,713,768,000 was remitted to CFR.
He enumerated some of the challenges facing NPA to include funding of required infrastructure; cost of acquisition of land and compensation for future port development, lack of reliable power supply, bureaucracy in procurement process, encroachment on port lands and insecurity of the waterways.
The members of the committee had demanded to know the position of the authority in the area of declining revenue generation, status of NPA’s property in London; profile of concessionaires and concession agreements on ports and channels.
*Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Vanguard