By Suoyo Ekubo
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has remitted the sum of N45.08 billion into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), out of which N26.83 billion was for its 2022 operational remittance.
The improved revenue generation by NPA came as a result of cost-cutting measures and sustained debt recovery by its new management led by the Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko.
“The first thing we did was to improve the collection mechanism. We held the Port Managers responsible for revenue generation and we are holding regular virtual meetings, but what we now did was that they needed to pay us on time, pay us or we stop services and, then, we minimise cost.
“Cost minimisation was very key. The idea is if you reduce cost, you are increasing the likely surplus that you will transfer to the government. However, we didn’t minimise cost in areas that were relevant and necessary. We cut down on places we felt are not very important. We started prioritising more, we always prioritise, but there is more prioritisation this time around. So we pay attention to spending on things that will also increase revenue.
“Also, there is less debt now than what it used to be, because we are all getting personally involved in terms of collection. I call the Port Managers in the morning, in the afternoon, to ensure that we are on the same page,” he said.
He disclosed that NPA had been able to recover legacy debts owed it by NNPC and the international oil companies (IOCs).
“The IOCs and other debtors have started paying their debts. NNPC alone owes NPA over N30 billion and this month we forced them to pay N7 billion. So NNPC has this rebate, 50 per cent rebate, and we do reconciliation and then they paid us.
“Since 2019 NNPC hasn’t paid us, but we have pushed them and made them know they have to pay or we stop service.
“We have become more aggressive, holding regular meetings and there are no formalities, you just pick the phone and call the Port Manager and say, where is the money.
“We made it clear to NNPC that they need to pay, some of them just paid and the IOCs have been paying for so long – Chevron and co. We have made it very clear that we have become more aggressive in our revenue collection and we have blocked leakages also where we are telling the IOCs that for service boat they cannot be the operator and also the agents,” the NPA MD said.