The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has said no money is missing from the authority’s coffer.
Reacting on his personal X handle, @mohdbellokoko, to a report that $1.8bn is allegedly missing from the agency’s coffer, the NPA boss, stated that the amount wasn’t missing but a bad debt.
He stated further that some of the debts also arose from the defective concession agreement of 2006, which he said would be corrected in the reviewed lease of agreement that would come into force soon.
“The larger part of the amount in question here is actually not missing; it is more like bad debts—some concessionaires have been given, say, a 1000-metre quay length area and a 2-hectare staking area for quayside operations. If 200 metres out of the 1000 metres quay length are defective and unusable, logically, the concessionaire will not pay for the unusable 200-metre area,” Bello-Koko stated.
Even though the Senate asked the authority to recover the debt, Bello-Koko said the debt must be written off the authority’s book and start the new year on a clean slate.
He said, “However, the Senate demands the NPA recover the money for this space that was not used. Over the years, these encumbered spaces have accumulated and run into millions of dollars. But literally, they are bad debts that cannot be recovered. Important to note, some of these debts date back over 20 years to the pre-concession regime.
“Some of the debts also arose from the defective concession agreement of 2006. Nonetheless, in the reviewed agreement, which will come into effect soon, these defects have been corrected.
“As I mentioned to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts of the 9th Assembly, we need to write it off our books and start the next year on a clean slate.”