The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied claims doing the rounds that it operates two secret foreign accounts.
It clarified that it only runs two dollar-denominated domiciliary accounts approved by the Federal Government.
NPA said its management prioritised transparency and due process in the execution of its core mandates.
In a statement issued by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Nasiru Ibrahim, NPA said the clarification was to set the records straight and disabuse minds of the public.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been drawn to a media report, suggesting that the Authority operates two secret accounts outside Nigeria, which have been allegedly looted.
“Contrary to their claims in the apparently sponsored report, which are both false and malicious, the NPA operates two USD-denominated domiciliary accounts that were approved by the Federal Government and transparently run, in accordance with agreed official safeguards emplaced by Office of the Accountant General through the CBN and the TSA policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria against possible infractions and looting.
“While the NPA management’s initial disposition was to dismiss the news report with a wave of the hand, the compelling need to set the records straight and disabuse minds of well-meaning and unsuspecting members of the various publics on the subject matter assumed prime consideration.
“Therefore, the management hereby states as follows:
“That a request for approval to open two accounts for collection of service boats pilotage revenue was made to the Accountant General of the Federation in a letter dated August 26, 2016.
“That the OAGF approved the opening of the accounts which were to be opened in Zenith Bank and Fidelity Bank with their correspondent foreign banks as Citibank N.A in London and New York respectively for purposes of collecting service boats pilotage revenue accruing to the NPA.
“That as of the time the request for approval was made, the class of revenue was being collected by Integrated Logistics Services Limited (INTELS) on behalf of the NPA from inception of the managing agent relationship which dates back to 1996.
“That there was a management agency relationship between INTELS and the NPA which gave INTELS the responsibility to monitor service boats operations and collect revenue from such operations on behalf of the NPA at an agreed commission.
“That both NPA and INTELS rely on the provision in the executed agreement to have access to view the inflow into the accounts for ease of reconciliation and to enable it determine online real-time amounts paid by clients and the value of invoice to send to the NPA for payment of their management services.”
It added: “That on a monthly basis, there were hundreds of payments for service boats operations that make payments directly into INTELS bank account.
“That on periodic basis, INTELS remitted a portion of the revenue collected to the NPA and retained significant portion in its vault, comprising commission on collection of revenue and cost of Onne phase 4B expansion project through amortisation.
“That the management of the NPA considered this practice as being completely at variance with the requirements of Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of government, which made it mandatory that all revenues accruing to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must be remitted into one consolidated TSA account in the Central bank of Nigeria.
“That management conducted a thorough review of the executed management agency agreement it entered into with INTELS and felt the urgent need to open revenue accounts dedicated to the collection of revenue from service boats operations based on certain parameters.”