NPA recovers $5.1m ‘hidden’ in Heritage Bank, to write off N190bn ‘bad debt’

Hadiza Bala Usman - NPA

The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has recovered $5.1million out of the sum of $24.1million it reportedly discovered “hidden” in Heritage Bank upon assuming office in July. Reports indicate that the amount was not disclosed in the handover note the current leadership of the organization received from the past management.

While speaking with journalists in Lagos yesterday, NPA Managing Director, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman confirmed the return of $5.1million by Heritage Bank into NPA’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). She said efforts were ongoing to retrieve the balance from the bank.

Usman also disclosed that private companies and government agencies owe NPA about N10billion and $585million (N180billion). She however admitted that part of the amount could be classified as bad debt as it had been outstanding for more than 10 years.

According to her, most of the entries which constitute the “bad debt” were made on land leased out by the organization to private companies but which were encumbered and could not be possessed by the lessees. She said appropriate steps would be taken to write the debt off NPA’s books.

While assuring that the present NPA management would work hard to plug revenue leakages in the organisation, Usman warned that contractors who fail to fully execute their briefs and fulfll their contractual obligations risk being blacklisted.

She said, “We cannot have contractors collecting our money and not do what is required. We have directed our procurement department to put in place structured framework which will be signed where contractors will be blacklisted from future contracts in the Nigerian Ports Authority and we have also discussed this with the Bureau of Public Procurement to convey our concerns with the fact that we are having contractors that are not performing on their contracts.”

Usman said NPA is facilitating the setting up of a National Single Window to facilitate cargo clearance at the port.

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