Nigerian Ports Authority Uncovers N11.23 Billion Fraud, 3 Banks Implicated
The new management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), led by Hadiza Bala Usman, has unearthed fraudulent transactions at the agency totalling a whopping sum of N11.23 billion Premium Times is reporting
Hadiza Bala, who was appointed the MD of NPA last month, has been thoroughly examining the books of the maritime agency together with her executive directors.
According to the report, $24.1million (N7.47billion at N310 per dollar) was traced to Heritage Bank, the successor bank to the defunct Societe Generale Bank owned by the Saraki family. The funds were allegedly collected by the bank as revenue for NPA, but weren’t moved by some officials of the agency into the NPA’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
An official of the NPA stated that the money was being hidden there by the officials who were earning interests on it. In addition, the former management of the agency failed to disclose the funds in the handover note passed to the new MD, Ms. Bala Usman.
Furthermore, another six million Euros (N2.09billion at N348 to a dollar) was found concealed in two banks – First Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank while another $5.4million (N1.67billion at N310 to a dollar) was moved to TSA accounts in the CBN, different from those belonging to the NPA.
Ms. Bala Usman has reportedly contacted Heritage Bank, First Bank and FCMB directing them to release the agency’s funds in their custody. However, Heritage Bank’s officials were quoted to have claimed that releasing the funds might lead to the collapse of their bank.
Bala stated that some revenue leakages and hidden funds had been located, adding that there was a need to look at some of the funds expended on capital and maintenance dredging.
“It’s good time for us to compare capital dredging and maintenance dredging” she stated.
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