A group, Concerned Maritime Stakeholders (CMS), has called on the Federal Government to initiate the process of recovering N16.1 billion from the Lagos Free Zone operator following the revelation by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that it revoked the land lease agreement signed with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) because the government was shortchanged in the deal.
NPA had revoked the lease via a letter dated November 14, 2019 addressed to the Managing Director of Messrs Global Resources Management Limited (GRML), the parent company of LADOL.
The NPA had alleged that the firm violated the terms of the land lease at Tarkwa Bay, near Light House Beach in Lagos. It said the government was short changed with the subleasing 11.2426 hectares of land and alleged the company collected $45 million (about N16.2billion) from a third party for the hectares of land for which it paid only $524,105 (N37.73 million) to NPA.
The group, reacting to the revelation by the NPA, urged President Buhari to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the allegation, recover the underpayment and prosecute those found to have been complicit in the alleged graft.
Secretary of the group, Mr. Idris Sanusi, in a statement in Port Harcourt, urged the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari to draw the attention of the President to the allegations.
“We call on Mr. President to ask EFCC to recover the money. We hope that Mr. President doesn’t act based on wrong advice.Since NPA made the allegation publicly, non one has come out to deny the allegation.
“So, EFCC should recover the balance of N16.16billion. President Buhari’s no-nonsense posture on the issue of corruption is unprecedented and EFCC’s chairman, Ibrahim Magu has demonstrated that he is a good ally to Mr. President in the fight against corruption.
“We are counting on Prof. Gambari’s unblemished record both nationally and internationally, to draw Mr. President’s attention to this alleged monumental fraud which is an act of economic sabotage to the Federal Government,” Sanusi said.