Minority caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to immediately investigate the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, over alleged looting of revenue under her management.
The caucus, in a statement issued on Monday by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, said the All Progressives Congress, APC administration had crippled the nation’s economy and brought untold hardships to Nigerians.
In the statement, the opposition lawmakers, demanded a “more drastic step by anti-graft agencies to recover the stolen funds as well as prosecute all involved in the looting spree”.
The statement read in part, “Our caucus holds that the mere suspension of the indicted 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 N165bn, amounts to 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 N165bn 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 amounting to N3,667,750,470, $148,845,745.04, €4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14.
“This is in addition to an audit query of N15.18bn allegedly stolen through inflated Corporate Social Responsibility projects/programmes under the watch of the suspended NPA Managing Director.
“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”.
President Muhammadu Buhari, is probing alleged non-remittance of about N165bn operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, by the NPA. Bala-Usman has since been suspended.
The government had figured out discrepancies in the remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA to the CRF for two consecutive years under the leadership of Bala-Usman.