Home News Senate criticises NPA, Customs over $1.68b revenue loss

Senate criticises NPA, Customs over $1.68b revenue loss

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Senate has expressed displeasure over the inability of key revenue-generating agencies, including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to stop what it called serious cases of revenue leakages in the country.

The Senate, which spoke through its Public Account Committee, disclosed that the NPA failed to recover $1 billion, representing the debt of terminal operators as well as another $68 million outstanding shipping bills and estate rents

The committee, at its sitting, also adopted the audit query issued to the NCS over the non-remittance of some N62.2 billion to the federation account.

The committee, which charged the revenue-generating agencies to wake up to their responsibilities, noted that continued leakages in revenue throw the country into perennial budget deficit and borrowing.

Chairman of the committee, Ahmed Aliu Wadada, said the committee was disappointed that the management of NPA failed to appear before it for questioning, even after invitations were properly sent by the committee.

Wadada said: “The NPA is found wanting on both ends; one, on the Auditor General for the Federation’s yearly report and also, on ends of the status enquiry.

“Some of these queries have got to do with the indebtedness of terminal operators which is almost a billion dollars. There are also outstanding estate rent, shipping dues, and service boats of over $68 million”, he said.

The lawmaker revealed: “There are issues around Lagos channel management, Bonny channel management and, of course, Calabar channel management. On these issues, the committee respectfully wrote the management of NPA. Some of the communications were responded to, and some are yet to be responded to”.

On the failure of NPA’s management to honour the committee’s invitations, Wadada said: “Today, the NPA was supposed to have appeared before this committee so that we look at queries raised by the Auditor General for the Federation. The management team is not here, the MD, directors, and other top members of management are not here. They rather chose to send a general manager to us. And at a time the NPA was called to the table, the general manager was unavoidably absent. Though, she later came and complained that she went for her medication”.

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