Dr Mohammed Bello-Koko
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$1.8bn not missing, faulty concession responsible for non-remittance – Bello-Koko

"The larger part of the amount in question here is actually not missing; it is more like bad debts"

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The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello Koko, said that the $1.8 billion claimed to be missing, is a false assertion.

He said a huge chunk of the amount is deemed irrecoverable due to faulty concession.

Bello- Koko gave the clarification amid allegations of missing $1.8 billion and non-remittance of $852 million by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts.

The NPA boss stated this on his official ‘X’ handle on Friday, explaining that the lump sums of $852m and N1.8bn raised in the queries were an accumulation of unremittances from private port operators who came on board through 2006 concession agreement.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Bello-Koko added:”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 10th Assembly, we need to write it off our books and start the next year on a clean slate.”

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