Hadiza Bala Usman
Hadiza Bala Usman

Suspended NPA boss, Hadiza Bala explains why observed shortfall was false

NEWS DIGEST – The suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, came after she had explained that the observed shortfall in the Authority’s remittance was a misconstruction of figures, according to a letter addressed to the Chief of Staff.

Hadiza was suspended from her duties on Thursday by President Buhari to allow an administrative panel of inquiry probe Mrs Usman’s management of the Authority, on the recommendation of Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

A day before, Hadiza had written to Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, to discredit claims that the NPA’s remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) was to a deficit.

The budget office had relayed to the President that the operating surplus of the Authority for the year 2017 and 2018 were N133.184 million and N88.79 billion and the Authority had failed to remit to the CFR on this basis.

These figures, Hadiza said, were actually N76.782 billion and N71.480 billion. That positioned the operating surplus which could be accessed by the Authority at N51.09 billion and N42.51 billion for the year 2017 and 2018 “in line with the template issued by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission.”

Since 80% of the operating surplus was to be remitted to the CFR, the Authority was expected to remit N40.87billion in 2017 and N34.065 billion in 2018. Accordingly, Hadiza said the Authority remitted N42.415 billion in 2017 and N33.969 billion in 2018.

Hadiza explained that the error had come from premising the shortfall on the wrong basis.

“[…] on which basis they arrived at the shortfall are derived from submission of budgetary provision not the actual amounts derived followed the statutory audit of the Authorities financial statements,” she said.

Although the NPA is yet to determine the operating surplus for 2019 and the amount due for remittance to the CFR, N31.683 billion was remitted in 2019 and N51.049 billion in 2020.

Hadiza clarified that the Authority had remitted the “full amount due it to CFR” in the year 2017 and 2018 which totalled N76.384 billion and is evidenced by the treasury receipts she attached to the letter addressed to the Chief of Staff.

She added that the total remittance of N82.687 billion for the period of 2019 and 2020 will be made to the CFR after the financial statement had been audited and the amount arising from the operating surplus had been computed into the audited financial statement.