Discordant tunes have greeted the over N270b budget of the Nigerian Ports Authority approved by the Senate last week. Maritime Stakeholders have raised questions about the justification over the expenditures which they want the NPA management to provide answers to.
In the budget approved by the upper house last week, the total receipts for the agency in 2017 was given as about N280b as against an expenditure estimate of N270b . Asked a stakeholder who sought anonymity . ‘ Is NPA telling telling us they have just a N10b ‘ change’ left for the Federal Coffers after spending all they would realise this year? Why would NASS approve such a budget ? This is unthinkable and we must get to the bottom of this’ he argued.
Speaking on the NPA budget , Dr Eugene Nweke , said he was not impressed with way the Senate handled the scrutiny of the budget. ‘ I think the Senate didn’t exhaust their oversight functions the way it should. The figures just didn’t add up, how would NPA spend over 95 per cent of its estimated receipts and pay a paltry 5 per cent to government coffers? Is this not the same thing they are holding against INTELS? This is unacceptable and the NASS should take a second look at this budget , it doesn’t make any economic sense that any agency of government would engage in this level of profligacy at a time we are passing through some serious economic challenges? This is the most irresponsible budgetting by a government agency in recent times’, he said.