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Senate probes NPA over non-remittance of N177b



A CAN of worms recently opened on the Nigerian Ports Authority over its non-remittance of about N177 billion operational surplus into the Consolidated Federation Account has come under Senate gavel, with the Upper Chamber setting up an ad-hoc committee to probe the allegation.

The resolution was passed yesterday following on a motion under Senate Standing Orders 42 and 52 raised by Senator Representing Yobe South, Mohammed Hassan, during which Senate President, Bukola Saraki, constituted Marine Transport Committee into an ad-hoc panel with its Chairman, Senator Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara-West) to preside and report back to the Senate within three days.

According to Hassan, contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and extant laws of the NPA, the agency kept to itself N177 billion operational surplus it made from accruing revenues in the 2017 fiscal year, explaining that the Senate committee discovered this in NPA budget defence in which NPA received N303 billion as total operational revenue out of which N125 billion was taken as operational cost as allowed by extant laws but it refused to remit the balance of N177 billion realised as surplus into the federation account.

“This to me and by extension, the Senate, should not be condoned because the committee discovered this seven months ago and ordered the agency to do the needful which it has not done up till now. Attention of the Senate is being drawn to this impunity, because six months down the line, the agency has not complied with the directive of the committee or communicated to it on the matter in anyway,” he said.

However, another twist was introduced to the case when  Yerima, denied knowledge of Hassan’s allegation, dissociating himself and other committee members from the allegation. He was supported by Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi- South) who cautioned Senate against relying on the allegation.

According to Yerima, Hassan as a member of the committee did not raise such issue at any of the committee’s sittings before raising the alarm in plenary.

“As chairman of the committee, I am not aware of this allegation raised against NPA by Senator Hassan and I don’t think any other member of the committee is aware as well,” he said.

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