Reps grill NPA management over N5.1bn renovation contract

• Demand original copies of signed contractual agreement

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday grilled the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), over a contract awarded at the cost of N5.1bn for the renovations of its Corporate Headquarters in Lagos

The Auditor General of the Federation had raised a query on the contract awarded in 2011 with a completion period of 15 months but without a valid signed contractual agreement with the contracting firm.

Speaking during the interrogation of the management of the Corporation led by its Managing Director, Mrs Haiza Bala Usman, the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon Wole Oke expressed reservation over the award of such a magnificent contract worth billions of naira without a valid signed contractual agreement as alleged in the query.

However, the NPA boss stated that the contract was awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and the available records showed that was a valid signed contractual agreement.

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But the Committee insisted that only the original copy of the signed agreement would clear the Agency of the audit query.

As the available photocopies of the documents presented before the Committee were not readable, the Committee ruled that the audit query be stepped down for the Agency to produce the original copy.

The contract was awarded for the renovations of the NPA Headquarters in Lagos and relocation of some of the offices from the Headquarters to other locations.

The query alleged that as at 2013 when the contract ought to have been completed and money paid out, there was no valid signed contractual agreement in place.

The management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) also appeared before the Committee but without the offers Committee earlier insisted must appear physically over the audit query raised against the Service in the 2013-14 financial year.

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