Panel To Probe NPA’s Suspended MD For Inauguration Today
The Federal Government may on Monday (today) inaugurate a panel to investigate Nigerian Ports Authority under suspended managing director, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
Economic Confidential had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari was probing the alleged non-remittance of N165.32bn operating surplus by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Auwalu Dauda Suleiman, who is currently a member of NPA’s board and the current Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, had been named as the chairman of the panel.
Suleiman is from Jigawa. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations in 1986 from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The Economic Confidential had reported that a probe panel would start work on probing the alleged non-remittance of operating surplus by NPA for which Bala-Usman was suspended on Thursday.
However, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who expected to name other members of the probe panel had yet to do that as of press time.
It was also learnt that the terms of reference had not yet been handed over to Suleiman as of press time.
In another development, the embattled NPA’s boss, Bala-Usman, has said that she has no shady deal with President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Bala-Usman had reportedly been involved in a clandestine ploy to short-change Integrated Logistics Services’ in favour of Africa’s richest man, Dangote.
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday by an aide to Bala-Usman, she denied the allegation.
She stated that the Nigerian Ports Authority had an executive management team, which considered and took business decisions on all assets of the authority in the best interest of Nigeria.
“To claim that I singlehandedly awarded a contract in my capacity as managing director, is, therefore, irresponsible, mischievous, and defamatory,” She said.
She also added that the allegation mischievously lumped the now expired service boat contract between the NPA and the INTELs, which had taken off in 2007 with a review of a 10-year extension in 2011.
Bala-Usman stated that contact had expired since August 2020 with the lease under discussion.
She said, “The service boat contract expired through the effluxion of time and the authority initiated a procurement process in which INTELs participated in line with all extant laws.
“Concerning Onne berths 9, 10 and 11, which the report alleged was ‘clandestinely’ taken from INTELs, here is the true position:
“The authority offered these berths to INTELs in 2013 without any contractual agreement even though the offer letter required that the company should pay rent to the authority for the use of the berths.
“In 2018, the Authority realised that INTELs had neither been making these payments for five years nor putting the berths to optimal use.
“The authority then wrote INTELs to request for the payment of the arrears of monies that were unpaid and expand the utilisation of the facility.
“With the continued under-utilisation of the facility, the fact that there was no contractual agreement with INTELs from the outset and the urgent need to decongest the ports in Lagos, the authority offered the berths to an internationally renowned container handling company, Messers International Container Terminal Nigerian Limited for the use of the berths for container cargo discharging.
“ICTNL has signed a contract for the lease of the berths with the authority and has commenced the installation of container handling equipment when INTELS instituted a court action challenging the withdrawal of the offer. That case is still in court!”
She added that ICTNL had refuted allegations that it had connection with Dangote.