Inside the N165 billion alleged scandal that caused NPA MD, Hadiza Usman suspension

Facts have emerged on why the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, was suspended.

She was accused of inability to give of the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA from from2016 to 2020

According to Rotimi Amaechi,  details she gave was “far short of the amount due for actual remittance.”

According to Mr Amaechi letted to President Muhammadu Buhari, NPA within the stipulated years, recorded an outstanding unremitted balance of N165 billion (N165, 320, 962, 697).

He therefore suggested that the financial account of the NPA be investigated and audited. As such, Ms Usman was suspended.

Documents obtained by NEWS DIRECT revealed the correspondence between Mr Amaechi and Ibrahim Gambari, Mr Buhari’s spokesperson who confirmed the president approval.
The ministry in its letter signed by Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, listed five audit firms and requested the Auditor-General’s office to approve any of them for the audit. In the alternative, the ministry requested the Auditor-General’s Office to grant it authority to advertise and select qualified audit firms to conduct the exercise.

The audit firms listed by the ministry include KPMG Nigeria, Deloitte Nigeria, Price Water House Coopers (PwC), Ernest and Young Nigeria, and McKinsey and Company.

But the Auditor-General, Adolphus Aghughu, in a letter dated April 16, notified the transport ministry that the NPA board had engaged Messrs Muhtari Dangana & Co (Chartered Accountants) and SIAO Chartered Accountants as external audit firms.

In the letter which he personally signed, the AG added that the said audit firms had indeed audited and published the accounts of NPA in 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years, and the 2019 audit is ongoing. The Auditor-General added that its office had conducted periodic checks and released appropriate reports on the checks.

Quoting extant laws establishing the NPA and the Nigerian constitution, the Auditor-General concluded that “reputable professional audit firms are already being engaged by the Board in line with the enabling Act”. It added that there was “no justification for the Ministry to advertise and select qualified Audit firms to conduct the exercise.”

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