The new management of the Nigerian Ports Authority has uncovered fraud totalling N11.23 billion at the agency, officials familiar with the matter have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The officials said the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, and her executive directors have since their assumption of duties on July 18 been poring through the books of the maritime agency.
So far, this newspaper learnt, a series of transactions suspected to be fraudulent and amounting to N11.23billion have been uncovered.
Of the amount, $24.1million (N7.47billion at N310 per dollar) was traced to Heritage Bank, the successor bank to the defunct Societe Generale Bank owned by the Saraki family.
Insiders said the funds were collected by the bank as revenue for NPA, but that the financial house, in collusion with some officials of the maritime agency, failed to move it into NPA’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“They were hiding the money there, and earning interests,” one official said.
The former management of the agency also failed to disclose the funds in the handover note passed to the Ms. Bala Usman-led team, our sources said.
Another six million Euros (N2.09billion at N348 to a dollar) were found concealed in two banks – First Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank, our sources said.