The Senate has said the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) failed to remit the sum of $679.4 million realized from the concession of various ports under the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), granted to 23 companies for 10 years.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, hinged the discovery on the report of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), which was transferred to the Committee for consideration.
According to the query by AuGF, 23 companies were granted concessional rent at various ports under the NPA for 10 years and above associated yearly rent of $679.4 million payable as of December 31st with no evidence of collection or remittances.
The AuGF query reads: “Twenty-three (23) companies were granted concessional rent of various ports under the 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.
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.
BPE only a confirming party
In its written response to the Senate Committee, the BPE noted that the concession transactions were done in 2005, while the agreements executed clearly showed that BPE was only a confirming party while the primary party to the concessions is the NPA.
The Bureau therefore explained that the responsibility for such collection is strictly that of NPA and not that of the agency’s.
It added, “Having midwife the concession transactions, the BPE collected some of the remittances to the NPA.
“The NPA has since acknowledged the transfer made regarding the rentals received on its behalf by the Bureau.
“Revenues 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.”