NPA denies operating secret, unapproved foreign accounts
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has dismissed a report that it operates two secret foreign accounts, saying it only operates two USD-denominated domiciliary accounts that were approved by the Federal Government.
It said its management runs transparent operations and gives a premium to due process in the execution of its core mandates.
In a statement by its General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Nasiru Ibrahim,
the compelling need to set the records straight and disabuse the minds of the public informed its response to the claim.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been drawn to a media report, suggesting that the Authority operates two secret accounts outside Nigeria, which have been allegedly looted.
“Contrary to their claims in the apparently sponsored report, which are both false and malicious, the NPA operates two USD-denominated domiciliary accounts that were approved by the Federal Government and transparently run, in accordance with agreed official safeguards emplaced by the Office of the Accountant General through the CBN and the TSA policy of the Federal government of Nigeria against possible infractions and looting.
“While the NPA management’s initial disposition was to dismiss the news report with a wave of the hand, the compelling need to set the records straight and disabuse the minds of well-meaning and unsuspecting members of the various publics on the subject matter assumed prime consideration.
“Therefore, the Management hereby states as follows:
“That a request for approval to open two accounts for the collection of service boats pilotage revenue was made to the Accountant General of the Federation in a letter dated August 26, 2016.
“That the OAGF approved the opening of the accounts which were to be opened in Zenith Bank and Fidelity Bank with their correspondent foreign banks as Citibank N.A in London and New York respectively for the purposes of collecting service boats pilotage revenue accruing to the NPA.
“That as of the time the request for approval was made, the class of revenue was being collected by Integrated Logistics Services Limited (INTELS) on behalf of the NPA from inception of the managing agent relationship which dates back to 1996.
“That there was a management agency relationship between INTELS and the NPA which gave INTELS the responsibility to monitor service boat operations and collect revenue from such operations on behalf of the NPA at an agreed commission.
“That both NPA & INTELS rely on the provision in the executed agreement to have access to view the inflow into the accounts for ease of reconciliation and to enable it to determine online real-time amounts paid by clients and the value of the invoice to send to the NPA for payment of their management services;
“That on a monthly basis, there were hundreds of payments for service boat operations that make payments directly into INTELS bank account.
“That on a periodic basis, INTELS remitted a portion of the revenue collected to the NPA and retained a significant portion in its vault, comprising commission on the collection of revenue and cost of Onne phase 4B expansion project through amortization.
“That the Management of the NPA considered this practice as being completely at variance with the requirements of Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of Government, which made it mandatory that all revenues accruing to all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must be remitted into one consolidated TSA account in the Central bank of Nigeria.
“That Management conducted a thorough review of the executed management agency agreement it entered into with INTELS and felt the urgent need to open revenue accounts dedicated to the collection of revenue from service boat operations based on certain parameters.
“The parameters included, among others: to ensure that Government revenues no longer reside in the vaults of private operators or companies; to ensure seamless reconciliation of revenue collection from service boat operations as there were hundreds of entries per month; to enthrone accountability and transparency in the management of revenue generation and collection from service boat operations; to enhance prompt reconciliation of service boat revenue generation and collection, which will facilitate prompt payment of agency commission by the Authority to INTELS in a transparent manner; and the prompt remittance of the net revenue after deduction of agency commission into the Authority’s TSA sub-account in the CBN.
“The Management also wishes to state that all the supposed assertions and innuendos in the news report as regards secrecy and diversion of funds in the accounts are nothing but spurious and laughable concoctions and disingenuous misinformation about happenings in the NPA in the fertile imaginations of the author of the unconscionable report.
For the avoidance of doubt, the “Management states categorically that there was no how the funds in the accounts could have been secretly diverted or privatized as significant safeguards had been put in place by the Federal Government.
“In a February 13, 2017 letter of approval from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for the opening of the accounts for the collection of service boats pilotage revenue, operational modalities were approved, to wit:
” That the NPA will operate collection accounts only with two commercial banks to be designated as “Transit Account.
” That balances in these Accounts will be swept daily into the designated Treasury Single Account (TSA) Revenue Sub-Accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or as mutually agreed by all parties;
“That on no account should withdrawals be made from these Revenue Accounts;
“That participatory Banks and INTELS will write formally to the NPA to demand their collection charges on monthly basis or as may have been agreed with them;
“That the NPA, upon due confirmation, reconciliation and necessary due diligence, will forward the request to the Office of the Account General of the Federation for payment to parties; and,
“That in case of further clarifications on this matter, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation should be contacted, accordingly.
“Besides, there were additional checks mechanisms put in place with the Banks to provide internet banking for the service boat revenue collection to enable “view-only” and printing capabilities of the statements of accounts by over twenty top management staff members of the NPA.
“With the explanations supra, the Management hereby wishes to state that the specious report about two persons looting the NPA’s so-called secret accounts could not have been possible.
“We, therefore, wish to state that the current NPA management under the leadership of the Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, is only aware of the approved USD-denominated domiciliary accounts as stated above and not aware of secret foreign accounts as indicated in the malicious online newspaper report.
“The NPA Management runs an open administration and gives premium to due process in the execution of its core mandates.
“We, therefore, wish to urge Nigerians to take note of the Management’s commitment to transparency in its financial transactions.”
Exclusive! Hope rises on take-off of proposed $3bn Badagry Deep Seaport as NPA, APMT resume discussion
The approval was finalised following a presentation by the Federal Ministry of Transportation at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during the last administration of President Mohammed Buhari.
According to officials, the port is expected to generate $53.6 billion in revenue over the 45 years concession period.
The proposed site of the project is located 55km west of Apapa and the port of Lagos, along the 55km long Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is being upgraded from a four-lane to a ten-lane expressway.
The port is expected to have an annual throughput capacity of 1.8 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
The proposal for the project was announced in 2012. Feasibility studies have been completed and construction works are yet to start.
The project will be implemented in four phases, with the overall project cost estimated to range between $2 billion and $3 billion.
Also, it is expected that the new port will primarily ease pressure on the existing ports of Lagos, Apapa and Tin-Can Ports, which handle approximately 85 percent of the country’s non-oil throughput.
It will further alleviate the burden on the country’s existing ports, which are on the verge of exceeding their cargo handling capacities, and address the country’s annual container traffic, which is expected to grow to 10 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units by 2030.
Plans for the adjoining Badagry Free Trade Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Deport functions.
Jamoh, Bello- Koko, serial award winners, bag National Productivity merit awards
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, is gradually turning into a serial award winner as he has landed yet another plaque of honour from the federal government.
An excited Jamoh expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, noting that it is a call to greater service to our Fatherland.“I am spurred by this award, particularly as it is coming from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, which underscores the ministry’s role in ensuring reward for hard work and productivity in public service”
“Let me also use this opportunity to dedicate the award to the industry’s stakeholders; external and internal, as they have made our work easier as an administration.
“We will continue to strive to make the maritime sector a viable economic driver, especially with the Blue Economy mantra, which is critical to the sustainability of the maritime sector”, Jamoh said.
Commenting the on the selection of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the DG said it is a well-deserved honour, as she has remained a core professional and astute administrator in the coordination of activities in the Ministry and the Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry.
“I am not surprised by her selection, as she is an administrator par excellence and has remained resolute and professional in the discharge of her duties.
”This conferment can only spur me and the entire team at the Nigerian Ports Authority whose commitment to exceptional performance culminated in this recognition, to continue pushing the limit and advancing the frontiers of trade facilitation.
”Imbued with the understanding that excellence is a moving target, I want to seize this moment to assure that we will not rest on our laurels in our resolve to turn our rich maritime potentials into actualities’, an elated Koko declared.
The National Productivity Order of Merit Award was instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to recognize and honour productive individuals and organizations in Nigeria in the year of the award for achievements made in the preceding years.
Shippers’ Council bestows on APMT certificate of registration as regulated service provider at ports
Headlines3 weeks ago
MSC overtakes Maersk as world’s largest container carrier of 5 m TEU capacity
Foreign1 month ago
UK court shuns Nigeria, ECOWAS pleas as it sentences Ekweremadu to 10 years imprisonment for organ trafficking
Headlines2 months ago
Obasanjo’s second daughter, Olubusola Obasanjo, among 510 promoted NIMASA staff
Headlines1 month ago
US frets as China pushes to head IMO
Headlines1 month ago
Buhari appoints Professor Umar Katsayal as Vice Chancellor, Daura University of Transportation
Customs1 month ago
Fate of customs officer who exposes smuggling ring at Nigerian borders unknown