The Senate Committee on Public Account has upheld the Auditor General of the Federation’s indictment of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency over payment of N1.6 billion to contractors without execution.
The Panel took the decision following the failure of the agency to appear before the Committee after series of invitations without response.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, who said the agency has refused to appear before the committee after series of the invitations sent to it, added that the committee has no other option than to sustain the query of Auditor General on the agency.
The 2015 Auditor general report reads: “A total sum of N8.6 million was paid to a company as contract/professional fees for store organization audit and inventory management system vide 2 payment vouchers Nos. UBA/EP/12/00309 of 8/3/12 and UBA/EP/13/0267 of 21/3/13.
“The contract entailed core store organization and inventory management system aimed at efficient record-keeping, asset location etc, but a physical audit verification of the store showed that this job was not carried out as assets worth billions of naira could not be effectively located and accounted for, contrary to the purpose of the contract.
“The payment for this contract contravenes Financial Regulation 3104(iii) which guards against payments for jobs not executed. Some of the equipment, items procured which could not be assessed in the store documentation and inventory are listed below:
“Supply and Installation of Cooking Equipment at Agency’s Headquarters Canteen
M/S Tua Ventures Ltd. N34,260,993.00, PV GTB/EP/13/0237.
“Supply and Installation of 1 No. 1000 KVA Sound Proof Caterpillar Gen. Set at Federal Ministry of Transport, Abuja.
M/S Mantrac Nig. Ltd.
“Procurement of High Technology Data for Information MSI Portal, M/S Ponkebi Nig. Ltd.
N109,620,000.00, PV UBA/EP/13/630 & PV 2B/14/0262
“Generator House/Fence/One 2 Bedroom Office at Lokoja, NIMASA, N36,338,214.59
“Supply of Hardware requirements to Nigerian Maritime Guard Command at 4 Burma Road, Lagos. M/S Aderalph Int’l Services Ltd.
“Direct Procurement and Installation at 1500 KVA Gen. Set at 4 Burma Road, Lagos.
M/S Maritime Nig. Ltd.
“Establishment of Nautical Chart Depot and Digital Whether Maps/Chart
M/S Joe Marine Nautical Co. Nig. Ltd.
N17,000,000.00 and Construction and Supply of 1No. Caver Boat
“Construction and Supply of a Medical Boat for NIMASA , M/S Fikay Global Marine Services Ltd. N430,000,000.00 and Supply of 2Nos: Brand New Patrol Boats
M/S Doiyatec Comms. Ltd.
“Supply and Construction of MV Rebirth 99
MV Millennium I & II MV Ofure MV Turai, MV Patience MV Goodluck, MV Benne and Others and Supply of Operational Vehicles to the Agency M/S Kishimi Nig. Ltd. N44,279,950.00
“The Director General has been requested to take procedural disciplinary measures against all officers responsible for approval and payment for job not executed, furnishing evidence for verification.
“Recover and refund to treasury, the sum of N8.6 million being irregular payment, furnishing recovery particulars for verification.”
Also in another query, some officials of NIMASA were accused of diverting N101.4 million for the establishment of Maritime Institute in University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
The query reads: “NIMASA and University of Nigeria, Nsukka reached an agreement to establish a Maritime Institute at the latter. To this end, the University submitted an N599 million as take-off grant but only the sum of N240 million was paid to the University vide P.V. No. UBA/EP/13/546 of 30/5/13.
“The audit inspection visit to the Maritime Institute at the University on 16th August, 2015 revealed that the Bursary unit of the University acknowledged only the sum of N138.5 million as release for the establishment of the Maritime Institute, Nsukka and not N240 million raised in the payment voucher. The difference of N101.4 million could not be accounted for by either the University or the Agency.
“The Director General has been requested to Identify the officers responsible for the diversion of the difference of N101.4 million and take disciplinary action against them, furnishing evidence such action for verification.
“Recover and refund to treasury the aggregate sum of N101.4 million furnishing recovery particulars for verification.”