The last has not yet been heard of the alleged financial misappropriations under Hadiza Bala Usman, the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
A budget audit report has, according to Sahara Reporters, uncovered how over ₦18 billion expenditure could not be explained under her watch between 2016 and 2017.
According to documents obtained from the audit of the Budget Performance Report (BPR) for 2016 and 2017, the NPA is being investigated for “Excessive Increase in Administrative Expenditure and Operational Expenses” in which the NPA incurred questionable expenses to the tune of ₦18 billion.
The report stated that there “was poor expenditure control in 2017 and high probability that the spending was not done in economic manner” under Usman.
One of the documents reads, “As part of the exercise, the team performed an analytical review of the administrative and operational expenses incurred by the authority as contained in the Budget Performance Report for the year 2016 and 2017.
“It was observed that the total expenditure reported by the Authority increased astronomically by 128% from ₦87,474,781,088.00 to ₦198,989,352,119.00 in 2017. Of particular concern was the Administrative Expenses which increased by 72% from ₦26,126,990,784.00 in 2016 to ₦44,937,334,999.00 in 2017.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had on May 6 removed Usman as the Managing Director of the NPA for no stated reason, but at the heart of Usman’s suspension are infractions and expenses which allegedly did not follow the due process.
Contrary to the claims by Usman in a statement she signed in response to reports in the media, Usman, according to documents, single-handedly awarded contracts, approved contracts without the knowledge and approval of the supervisory Ministry of Transportation.
Some stakeholders in the Nigerian ports petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Inspector-General of Police to investigate Usman over alleged disappearance of over ₦20 billion under her watch.
In a petition signed by the stakeholders, Comrades Olayiwole Oke, Charles Dike and Musa Yola, and obtained by SaharaReporters, the stakeholders had noted that a “mind-boggling ₦20 billion of NPA’s financial transactions between 2016 and 2018 could not be traced, documented, or explained.”
They had urged the agencies to carry out a detailed investigation of the NPA in their petition which they copied to the Office of the President, among others.