Reps dismiss N178bn bad debt allegation against NPA boss

Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko

The House of Representatives has exonerated the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, of N178 billion in bad debt allegations as contained in the 2019 audited financial statement of the authority.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions, Mike Etaba, dismissed the allegations at a public hearing held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja on Wednesday.

Recall that the Forum of Non-governmental Organisations in Nigeria had accused NPA and Bello-Koko of complicity in the mismanagement of N178 bn for bad debt in the agency’s audited financial statement.

At the resumption of the public hearing on Wednesday, the forum failed to appear before the committee to defend its allegations.

Disappointed by the absence of the forum, Etaba dismissed the petition for lack of merit, saying the petitioner had failed to appear before the committee to prove its allegations against the NPA and the MD.

The chairman said, “This is the sixth time the House Committee on Public Petition is sitting with respect to N178 bn bad debt allegations brought against the authority. The petitioner has not been in this place. The case is hereby dismissed.”

As contained in its petition, the forum had requested that the management of NPA be invited to address the growth of the alleged debt from N135 billion in 2018 to N173 billion in 2019.

“Our attention has been brought to the 2019 audited financial statement of the authority with special reference to trade accounts receivable and the huge provision made for bad and doubtful debts.

“Whilst we note that the position in 2019 would significantly change by now, the poor quality of NPA’s trade receivable account is alarming and requires urgent attention,” the petition read in part.