Budget alteration: Senate summons NPA Board

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has summoned the Board and Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to appear before it next Thursday to give explanations on why provisions for the gratuity of retirees of the revenue-generating agency was mismanaged.

The Senate findings was sequel to a petition written by one of the retirees, Isa Usman Kunini, and three others on behalf of 126 other ex-officers of the NPA over the non-payment of a significant portion of their gratuity by the NPA after their retirement in 2018.

The aggrieved retirees had made presentations before the committee led by Senator Ayo Akinyelure last December but the management of the NPA did not appear at the committee hearing.

The Senate Committee in its findings disclosed that despite provisions for the gratuity of the affected workers in the 2018 budget, a significant portion of it to the tune of N1, 160, 732, 309.43 was not paid by the board of the NPA.

Speaking with newsmen on Thursday, Senator Akinyelure said the action of the NPA showed impudence towards the National Assembly which appropriated the agency budget.

He maintained that it was wrong for the board of the agency to have altered implementation of its budget without recourse to the National Assembly.

He said: “This committee, which is the ombudsman of the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria and voice of the voiceless Nigerians in the upper chamber of the National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan, would no longer sit back and allow any government agency and parastatals to alter the implementation of the budget as passed by the National Assembly under the guise of board approval contrary to Appropriation Act signed to law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is highly embarrassing that NPA Management Board will sit in their boardroom and alter a budget which has already been passed by the National Assembly and signed to the law of FRN, thereby shortchanging these helpless retirees with a high level of impunity.”

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