NPA sets aside N241m for foreign medical expenses

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is set to spend N241 million before the end of 2016 on foreign medical expenses. The sum form part of the N382 million the agency has budgeted to cater for its medical expenses within the year 2016.

A breakdown of the total sum indicates that N108.875 is for drugs, N82.400 for local medical expenses while N241 million was budgeted for foreign medical expenses.

Besides, information obtained by our Correspondent revealed that N50 million is earmark for the rehabilitation of clinics at Lagos and Port-Harcourt Ports.

When contacted, the Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi asked our Correspondent to make enquiries from the agency’s Executive Director Finance and Administration, Olumide Abayomi Oduntan.

“Please make enquiries from the NPA’s Executive Director for Finance, he is the one in-charge of budget,” Abdullahi stated.

When contacted, the Executive Director, Finance, Olumide Oduntan, said it was untrue that the NPA had set aside N241 million for foreign medical expenses.

It will be recalled that the joint committee of the National Assembly, comprising of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Waterways and Harbours has assured that it would strictly supervise the 2016 budget of  the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA.

Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Alhaji Sanni Yerima stated this during the joint committee visit to the headquarters of NPA in Marina Lagos recently.

Yerima, who was represented by his Vice Chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu reiterated the need for prudent spending of government resources in view of the down turn in the nation’s economy.

The lawmakers noted that there was need for critical stakeholders in the maritime sector to   collaborate and ensure that Nigeria ports were attractive and cost effective to attract more users.

“In our legislative agenda for this 8th Senate, we have decided that oversight functions  should take the  centre stage  in all our dealings because we have seen the indicator that our economy is nose diving, and for that reason , we will try as much as possible to monitor the situation through our oversight functions and ensure it does not collapse,” Anyawu said.

The lawmakers however, noted that they were not at NPA to find faults, but to support the management of NPA with a legal frame work and do everything to move the sector forward and the country at large.

Speaking also, the Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport, Dr. Pat Asadu said the lawmakers were at the ports, to acquaint themselves with the industry, stressing that the committee would be part of the implementation of the NPA 2016 budget..

He said “We want to be part of it, to make sure that you realize all the potentials that are in NPA.  We want to solve the problems as they come, and where we cannot, we would take them to higher authorities”.

He assured that the present crop of lawmakers was more concerned about the agencies and their   challenges and to ensure that revenues those due governments are maximally collected.