By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
The management of the National Port Authority (NPA) has been dragged into the General Auditing Commission (GAC) report for not achieving value on properties due to failure to apply the appropriate rate based on its lease policy.
The report says 16 leases not surveyed by the GAC should have realized US$1,144,265.02 while 10 leases confirming to NPA lease policy realized US$243,551.50.
At the on-going public hearing conducted by the House and Senate Public Account Committee yesterday, the Deputy Auditor General of Liberia, Mr. Wessely Nyakan, told the committee that out of the 19 lease agreement signed prior to NPA 2000 policy, it was expected that US$1,333, 871.59 revenue would have been collected but there were no evidence of amount realized by the NPA.
Mr. Nyakan told the committee that the audit verification established 135 lease holders, 48 illegal occupants, 4 supported by MCC while 10 out of the 135 verified to be consistent with NPA policy.
The Deputy AG Director indicated that assessment of NPA lease documents disclosed that seven entities made excess payment in the tune of US$98,455.33 to the NPA. These aberrations came about due to NPA management’s failure to apply the NPA’s lease policy.
He said these entities were charged in violation of the NPA lease policy applicable rates. Further analysis also revealed as per GAC’s survey report all seven entities occupied a total of 247,148.17 square feet of land whereas the NPA lease agreement stated that these entities occupied a total of US$281,288.68 square feet land.
Three entities as indicated in the GAC survey’s report according to Mr. Nyakan were undercharged in the tune of US$11,655.83. He said these entities occupied more land areas than those indicated in the agreements. Nyakan added that also four entities were overcharged as they occupied less land than those indicated in the agreements. While the agreements showed greater land leased, GAC survey indicated less land occupied by each of the four entities. Payment made on the excess land amounted to US$21,229.06.
In response, the Board Chair of NPA, Mr. Nathaniel Barnes argued that he cannot take action on the report because his entity did not receive the audit report on time. He told reporters that the NPA downloaded the report from the internet but there has not been enough time for NPA to read in detail the content of the report.
For this reason, the Public Account Committee has re-scheduled the NPA hearing for next Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at the Capitol Building.