Our Dollar Accounts Backed By FG — NPA Disclaims Operating Secret Offshore Accounts


Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it operates two USD-denominated domiciliary accounts with official safeguards backed by the federal government, thus, shielded from looting.

NPA said this in a statement on Wednesday signed by Ibrahim Nasiru, general manager, corporate and strategic communications, NPA.

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The statement comes on the heels of a publication accusing the authority of running two secret offshore accounts, which have been allegedly looted.

NPA, however, dismissed the claims as “both false and malicious”, adding that its two accounts were approved by the federal government and transparently run, in accordance with agreed official safeguards emplaced by the office of the accountant general through the CBN and the TSA policy of the federal government of Nigeria against possible infractions and looting.

NPA said it received approval to open two accounts for service boats pilotage revenue from the office of the accountant general of the federation in a letter dated August 26, 2016.

Stated in the statement:

The OAGF approved the opening of the accounts which were to be opened in Zenith Bank and Fidelity Bank with their correspondent foreign banks as Citibank N.A. in London and New York respectively for the purposes of collecting service boats pilotage revenue accruing to the NPA.

As of the time the request for approval was made, the class of revenue was being collected by Integrated Logistics Services Limited (INTELS) on behalf of the NPA from inception of the managing agent relationship which dates back to 1996.

Also added in the statement:

There was a management agency relationship between INTELS and the NPA, which gave INTELS the responsibility to monitor service boat operations and collect revenue from such operations on behalf of the NPA at an agreed commission.

Both NPA and INTELS rely on the provision in the executed agreement to have access to view the inflow into the accounts for ease of reconciliation and to enable it to determine online real-time amounts paid by clients and the value of the invoice to send to the NPA for payment of their management services.

On a monthly basis, there were hundreds of payments for service boat operations that make payments directly into INTELS bank account.

The statement further explained that on a periodic basis, INTELS remitted a portion of the revenue collected to the NPA and retained a significant portion in its vault, comprising commission on revenue and cost of Onne phase 4B expansion project through amortisation.

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NPA added that its management also conducted a thorough review of the executed management agency agreement it entered into with INTELS and felt the urgent need to open revenue accounts dedicated to the collection of revenue from service boats operations based on certain parameters.

NPA added that there were additional check mechanisms put in place with the banks to provide internet banking for the service boat revenue collection to enable ‘view-only’ and printing capabilities of the statements of accounts by over twenty top management staff members of the NPA.

It maintained that the specious report about two persons looting the NPA’s “so-called secret accounts” could not have been possible.

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