From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The minority caucus in the House of Representatives said on Monday it is alarmed by the alleged non-remittance of over N165 billion operating surplus by top officials of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).
The PDP, in a statement by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, charged the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence the probe of suspended managing director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman.
The caucus stated that such allegations should be committed to an anti-graft agency for independent probe and to an administrative panel of enquiry.
‘Our Caucus holds that the mere suspension of the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, and the resort to an administrative panel of enquiry even after the report by the Supervising Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, exposed an unremitted and possibly diverted operating surplus of N165 billion, amounts romancing and perfuming corruption by the APC-led Federal Government.
‘The Minority Caucus also believes that the recourse to an administrative instead of a full-scale criminal investigation can only serve as decoy to shield some other APC government officials involved in the looting spree at NPA and other affiliated agencies in the transport sector.
‘This is because, apart from the unremitted N165 billion cited by the Minister, other documents and reports from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had also uncovered several sleaze, including unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14.
‘This is in addition to audit query of N15.18 billion allegedly stolen through inflated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects/programmes under the watch of the suspended NPA Managing Director,’ the opposition lawmakers stated.
They added: ‘As representatives of the suffering people of Nigeria, our caucus is particularly very worried that such monumental lootings are going on at a time terrorists, bandits, unknown gunmen, and criminal militias are reigning supreme across the length and breadth of the country and life has consequently become the cheapest article in the country.
‘We imagine that such resources if channelled to the security sector and well managed would have made a world of difference in addressing the problem of insecurity in the country.’
The caucus accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government of crippling the country’s economy and brought untold hardship.
‘It is a shame that a party that came to power with the promise of fight corruption, build the economy, and fight insecurity has ended up destroying whatever gains that were made before it came to power,’ the opposition lawmakers stated.