The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) on Thursday differed over N255 billion liability incurred by the agency responsible for the governing and operation of ports in the country.
While FRC told members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance that the NPA has only submitted its audited financial statements up to 2018 and it was yet to receive those for 2019 and 2020, the Authority said FRC was outdated, hence the liability.
The federal agencies made their submissions at the ongoing 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF & FSP) interaction with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Bello Gulmare, Head of Monitoring of FRC, disclosed that the NPA has not been keeping to date with the submission of their audited accounts.
“The NPA has only submitted up to 2018 audited financial statement. We are yet to receive 2019 and 2020. Their liability is N255billion. Their general liability is 235billion. In our record, we have remittances of N179.6billion, which gives rise to a net operating surplus of N255billion,” he said.
But reacting, Emeka Ezeogu, who represented NPA, said the FRC has an outdated account, giving rise to the N255 billion liability.
“2019 has already been approved by the Board, 2020 is ongoing. FRC has not done any reconciliation with the NPA for the past 4years. The figure he is brandishing does not align with what we have.
“We have done reconciliation with Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC). We are also engaging the accountant general office right now and we have a letter from them inviting us for reconciliation,” he said.
But while intervening, James Faleke, Chairman of House Committee on Finance said FRC was the body statutory empowered by the constitution to monitor remittances of MDAs.
“By law, when it comes to remittances, this office (FRC) is superior to the Accountant General Office. This is a constitutional office, it is not just created by an act of the National Assembly.
“It is important that you reconcile with the FRC. You should be eager to reconcile them. If their report is laid before the National Assembly, and you are found wanting, it has consequences. So, reconcile within two weeks, ” Faleke said.