Okechukwu Nnodim and Kariola Mustapha
11 May 2021
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The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated a panel of enquiry on the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority and ordered the panel to investigate policies of the suspended managing director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
In a March 4, 2021 letter to the President by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the FMoT alleged that the NPA under the leadership of Bala-Usman failed to remit N165.32bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2016 to 2020.
The ministry called for an investigation and audit of NPA’s accounts and further stated that there were unremitted deductions to FIRS by NPA that include N3,667,750,470; $148,845,745.04; €4,891,449.50; and £252,682.14.
Bala-Usman had, however, contested the contents in the FMoT’s letter and had denied allegations levelled against her by the transportation ministry.
But the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday in Abuja inaugurated a panel to investigate the policies, strategies and other management activities undertaken by the suspended NPA boss during her tenure at the authority.
Outlining the terms of reference of the panel, Amaechi said, “You should examine and investigate the administrative policies and strategies adopted by the managing director of NPA and confirm compliance with extant laws and rules from 2016 till date.
“Examine and investigate issues leading to the termination of pilotage and other contracts of NPA and confirm compliance with the terms of the respective contracts, court rulings and Presidential directives.”
He added, “Examine and investigate compliance with the communication channel as obtained in the public service. Examine and investigate the procurement of contracts from 2016 to date.
“Come up with suggestions and advice that would strengthen the operations of NPA and forestall such occurrences in future.”
They also included and any other matter that may be necessary in the course of the assignment.
Members of the panel include Suleiman Auwalu, Director, Maritime Services and Chairman of the team; Ben Omogo, Director, Organisation Design and Development, Co-Chairman.
Others include Hussani Adamu, Director, Procurement; Blessing Azorbo, Director, Legal Services; Mercy Ilori, Director, Transport Planning Coordination; Muhly-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management; Gabriel Fan, Deputy Director, Legal Services, who serves as secretary of the committee.
Three employees of Human Resources Management are to serve as secretariat staff.
The panel was asked to take its time to investigate the issues, as no timeframe was mentioned by the minister for them to submit their findings.