N13.595b belonging to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is trapped in three commercial banks and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
About $24.1million (N9.399billion at N390 to a dollar) of the sum was lodged with Heritage Bank.
Nothing was said about it in the handover report given to the new Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman.
The cash was allegedly hidden by some forces from the new management team.
Another trapped sum of €6million (N2.09billion) is in First Bank and FCMB.
The last tranche of $5.4million (N2.106b) is in the NPA’s TSA Account in the CBN which some top officials of NPA feigned ignorance of.
These discoveries were unearthed by Hadiza-led NPA as part of its ongoing reform of the organisation.
The new team, which assumed duties on July 18, 2016, also discovered that NPA had been losing about $38million (N14.820billion).
According to investigation, the NPA management has opened up discussions with the affected banks.
A source familiar with the matter said: “We wrote a letter to Heritage Bank but the bank claimed that it might have been an inherited liability from Enterprise Bank.
“But the NPA showed sufficient proof that it has the $24.1million in the bank. It is surprising that you are running a bank and you don’t know that there is $24.1million hidden from the management.
“The management also said the bank is going to sink if NPA is insisting on its demand for the $24.1million. We are not out to sink any bank but we want our funds back.
“We have a case of €6million that has been swept into First Bank and FCMB. There is another $5.4million in NPA’s TSA Account in CBN which some people (officials) feigned knowledge of and not doing anything to access the funds.”
It was gathered that the NPA management might review service and concession agreements with some firms because most of the pacts are skewed in favour of the firms.
Another source said: “There is a company whose agreement with NPA expired since 2009 and the service of the firm was retained without any renewal. The worst aspect is that the company uses NPA staff and equipment.
“We are losing over $38million to such weird agreements. We are now ready to plug loopholes and leakages.
“We are here to review and reform the NPA to ensure that the government can no longer be shortchanged.”
The source said the new management will “review its budget from the present rate of 45-55 per cent (capital expenditure to recurrent) to 70% to 30%.
“The training budget in NPA is huge but they are only used for conferences because of perks.”
Asked if the NPA management will retrench staff, the source said: “No, but those afraid of our reform have been dishing out blackmail to set the workers against us.”