The House of Representatives Wednesday queried the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) for earmarking N101 billion for dredging in its 2022 budget.
This is even as the lawmakers queried NPA over its annual spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and office furniture which run into billions of naira.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, James Faleke, handed the query when the NPA’s management appeared before the panel during an interactive session with government agencies on 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF & FSP) at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Faleke queried NPA for earmarking N101 billion for dredging in the 2022 fiscal year having spent an average of N50 billion on the same dredging over the last four years.
“How long do you dredge and re-dredge?”, Faleke asked Emeka Ezeogu, who represented NPA’s acting Managing Director.
Faleke said the document presented by NPA showed that it spent N68 billion in 2017; N69 billion in 2018; 45 billion in 2020 and N33 billion in 2021 on dredging.
He wondered why the agency would still earmark N101 billion in 2022 for the same project.
The committee, therefore, slashed the amount for dredging in 2022 to N50 billion and directed that the balance should be part of the revenue of the agency.
The committee also queried the yearly spending of NPA on corporate social responsibility and furniture and asked the representative of the agency to mention the CSR projects it has carried out in the country.
Responding, Ezeogu said the Authority carried out electrification projects in some communities in Port Harcourt and Lagos, but added that he did not have the details of the projects to give to the committee.
On the issue of dredging, he said they usually carry out capital and maintenance dredging to keep the channels navigable.