Senate has ordered Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to recover $10 million paid for legal fee and technical charges without results to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). In the $10 million expected to be recovered was $5 million for legal fee and additional $5 million for technical charges, just as $5 million was said to have been the five per cent of the $9.3 billion Nigerian hydro-carbon loss between 2013 and 2014 predating the current management of the Agency. The law firm, not disclosed, was expected to carry out necessary legal actions that would enable NIMASA to perfect an intelligence based efforts to track the nation’s hyrdo-carbon global movement.
The AuGF report indicated that the money was paid from Zenith Bank (UK) dollar account.Part of the query read: “Audit observed that the agency engaged the service of a legal firm through a letter with reference number NIMASA/DG/KP/2014/001, dated 24th January 2014. The report read, , “It was for the intelligence based tracking of global movement of Nigerian hydro-carbon and recovery of loss by the federal government of Nigeria in the sum of $9.3 billion between 2013 and 2014, with a start-off cost of $5 million and five per cent of all sums recovered. “Payment instruction with reference number NIMASA/2007/DFS/WJ/5.500/VOL.11/341 dated April 2014 showed that the firm was paid the sum of $4,523,809.52 (Four million five hundred and twenty three thousand eight hundred and nine dollar fifty two cents only) net as professional fees from Zenith Bank (UK) Dollar account.
“The Naira equivalent of this amount was N741,904,761.28 at an exchange rate of N164 to a dollar as of that date.“No evidence of recovery of either part or the entire sum of the 9.3 Billion US Dollars was presented as at the time of the Periodic Check in February 2018, despite the huge amount of money already paid to this effect.” The Senate therefore sustained the report of the committee which indicted NIMASA. Senate said that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to act on the report that indicted top management of government in Ministries, Departments and Agencies who have spent well over one trillion Naira fraudulently. The indictment of the MDAs by the Senate was sequel to the consideration of the Senator Matthew Urhoghide, led Senate Committee on Public Accounts reports of 2017 and 2018 of Auditor General of the Federation.
Other MDAs indicted by the 2017 and 2018 report are Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Environment, National Library, Financial Reporting Council, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Mortgage Bank, Energy Commission, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Iron . Also indicted are Ministry of Justice , Federal Civil Service Commission, Public Complaint Commission, University of Uyo, University of Abuja, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, National Examination Council (NECO).