Why sen­a­tors launched probe on NPA – MD

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ab­dul-Rah­man Abubakar

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.

Photo: Felix Onig­binde

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.

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