24 May 2021
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File copy: Members of the House of Representatives during plenary
The House of Representatives is moving to prevent some ministries, departments and agencies from further spending and diverting the revenue they generate, especially the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
The affected MDAs will now be confined to the Single Treasury Account of the Federal Government while they can only spend funds and for the purpose they were appropriated by the National Assembly.
Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Wole Oke, had sponsored four bills seeking to amend the NPA, NCC and NIMASA Acts as well as the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Oke particularly cited the current issues in the NPA under the leadership of the suspended Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
The ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Ports Authority Act 1999’ is seeking to introduce a new subsection under Section 13 of the NPA Act.
It says, “13(a)(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of the principal Act, all revenues that shall accrue to the Authority under any of the sources listed in Section 13 or from any other source shall be paid into the Federation Account.
“(ii) The Authority shall not incur any expenditure except it has been appropriated by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, the Authority shall be entitled to seven (7) per cent of all revenue generated as its cost of collection.”
Also, the ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act 2007’ is also seeking to introduce a new subsection under Section 16 of the Act.
It read, “16(a)(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Principal Act, all revenues that shall accrue to the Agency under any of the sources listed in Section 16 or from any other source, shall be paid into the Federation Account.”
Similarly, the ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Communications Act 2003’ seeks to delete the current Section 17(3) and insert a new Section 17(3) that reads, “The commission shall pay all monies accruing to it and all revenue generated by it into the Federation Account and the commission shall be entitled to seven (7) per cent of all revenue generated as its cost of collection.”