Why senators launched probe on NPA – MD
Personal interest is behind the ongoing probe of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) by the Senate, Managing Director of the agency, Hadiza Bala Usman has said.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, monitored in Abuja, she said the Calabar Channels Management Company, one of the companies contracted by the authority for the dredging work, refused to execute the work, which, as a result, the NPA boss stopped payment of the money.
This, Usman said, did not go down well with a particular senator in the upper chamber, who continues to work hard to ‘tarnish and sabotage’ the works of the agency.
“We welcome it (the senate probe), because at NPA, we have even gone beyond investigation. When I came on board, I looked at the money spent on dredging and I found out that a lot of money was being spent.
“I therefore developed a plan, where we engaged consultants who would be examining the exact dredging needed for ships to sail and then we would pay only that exact amount. We would conclude everything in the next 3 months,” she said when asked of the senate probe.
But on the genesis of the probe, Usman said “I don’t know why they are launching the probe, but there are some people who support the Calabar Channels Management Company. It is one of the companies handling our dredging. There is a concern that the company did not execute some contract works.
“So I refused to pay them because there is no evidence to show that they actually executed the dredging of the waters.
“Some of the sympathisers of this company are senators, and in particular one senator was behind this sabotage in NPA activities. But whatever he is doing will not distract us from what we are doing because we have proofs that this particular company has not executed the work.”
Asked on repercussions of the probe, she said “We are not afraid of any further discovery, because we have nothing to hide regarding this dredging issue.”
On the system she found in NPA, Usman said a lot of work to reposition the system has been going on and the anomalies found at the end would be sent to EFCC for action.
“But we are strengthening our IT infrastructure to stop leakages,” she said, stressing that there has not been “anything” that was discovered thus far apart from some NPA directors sanctioned by Swiss, who were involved in extortion through one of the Nigerian companies.
“When I came across that report, I called the company and received their receipts. We are going to hand them to EFCC for their own investigation,” she said.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo SAN (5th right); Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama(4th right); Minister of Defence, Brig Gen Mansur Dan Ali (3rd right); Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonisakin Abayomi (2nd right); Nigeria’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the African Union and Chairperson of AU Peace and Security Council for Month of July, Amb Bankole Adeoye (6th right) and others during a meeting with AU Peace and Security Council delegation at the State House in Abuja yesterday.