Hadiza Bala Usman, the former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has revealed the primary issues that led to her dismissal by former transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi.
Bala-Usman was removed from his position as managing director of the NPA in 2021 and succeeded by Mohammed Bello-Koko in 2022.
Amaechi recommended her suspension, claiming that the agency, under her watch, neglected to transfer N165 billion in operating surplus to the federal government.
A commission of administrative investigators, however, exonerated her after investigating the alleged mismanagement.
In her newly published book, ‘Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority,’ Bala-Usman writes that Amaechi wanted her out of NPA because “two of the authority’s most significant contracts were up for renewal.”
She alleged that the minister demanded “an extension of tenure for the firms providing capital dredging services without due process.”
Amaechi “got consent for the restoration of an expired service boat contract” despite the company’s initial contract being terminated for violating the federal government’s treasury single account (TSA) policy, according to the former NPA chief.
“At this time, I recalled what the stakeholder said about the minister wishing me out of office at a time when two of the authority’s most crucial contracts were up for renewal. The first contract was for capital dredging, and the second contract was for service boat administration,” Bala-Usman wrote.
“While the minister demanded an extension of tenure for companies providing capital dredging services without due process, he obtained approval for the reinstatement of a service boat contract that had expired.” This was given to him despite the fact that the company owed the federal government money, had violated the Treasury’s single account policy, and, most importantly, no longer had a contract with the NPA. I believed his desperation to oust me from office was at an end.”
2017 marked the end of the federal government’s pilot programme with Integrated Logistics Services (Intels).
Gabriele Volpi, an Italian national, and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria, founded Intels, a logistics and facilities services provider in the maritime and oil and gas sectors.
Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, stated that the agreement allowing Intels to receive revenue on behalf of NPA for the past 17 years violates sections 80 (1) and 162 (1) and (10).
Malami then recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022 that Intel’s contract with the NPA not be reinstated.