MINISTRY OF FINANCE DEMANDS ACCOUNTABILITY: Operations of Transport and Ports Management

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has begun taking the necessary steps to inject sanity into contract agreement signed by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and other bodies.  This is not a witch-haunt, as many may have perceived the process to be, but an effort to sanitize Government institutions and Parastatals in an effort to maximize economic benefit for the State. In a letter dated 17th May, 2018 addressed to Ms. Aminata Bangura, Managing Director of the Transport and Port Management Systems, the Financial Secretary has requested for an update in relation to revenue generated over the years on Exports and Imports. Many have seen the effort of the Financial Secretary as a step in the right direction if the Country is to realize much economic benefits from the operations of these facilities owned by the State. Similarly, the Financial Secretary has requested the Central Bank to suspend all withdrawals from the accounts of the Transport and Port Management Systems until the necessary and positive actions are being adopted and the realization of a proper and transparent accounting system that would show that judicial and prudent steps were been adopted by the office which the state is benefiting from over the past years. The letter, when received sent shivers down the spine of Ms. Bangura as she least expected that such focus and action from the office of the Financial Secretary.

The office it would be recalled, had awarded a sleep way contract to a company from Nigeria and had requested for a kickback prior to the award of the contract and by the time the request was granted the office had already awarded the same contract to another Company that paid the kickback, but  did not perform as expected. Effort by the Nigerian General Manager of the Company for a refund of the alleged US$5,000 paid as a kick back proved futile, meaning that the company lost both the contract and the kickback.

It is not known how far the office has responded to the correspondence from the Financial Secretary since the acknowledgement of the letter, but inside sources say the Managing Director was in a state of disorientation and perturbed and now trying to put things together before the Anti Corruption Commission may be contacted.

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