By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), has alleged that the suspension of the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman did not follow due process.
The forum viewed the development not only as an assault on women inclusiveness in governance, but an attack on the North.
The forum’s spokesman, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kareem, while briefing newsmen in Kaduna Friday on the suspection of Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman alleged that, “lt is a well-orchestrated attempt by Mr. Amaechi to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for rewarding the uncommon character, competence and capacity with which Hadiza Bala Usman discharged her duty to Nigeria by recently renewing her appointed as the head of NPA for another five years.”
The forum noted that at the time Hadiza Bala Usman was first appointed to head the Nigerian Ports Authority in 2016, the agency was a cesspool of corruption and had become incapable of adding value to the Federal Government to the level expected of an entity that is the gateway to the Nigerian economy.
He explained that Hadiza Bala Usman immediately set to reposition the NPA for greater operational efficiency and revenue generation by blocking all avenues of corruption that hitherto undermined the agency, adding that in a bid to achieve this noble objective, she unavoidably stepped on the toes of very powerful political figures with vested interests in the running of the NPA.
According to the forum, “Specifically, she insisted that all revenue generating operation of the NPA must fully comply with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government. This meant that all companies who had been operating with impunity in handling monies belonging to Nigeria were called to order, and that concession agreements skewed against national interest were reviewed.”
The group noted that in no distant time, her patriotic actions yielded results with the NPA posting unprecedented remittances in billions to the coffers of the government from 2016 to date.
“We at the Concerned Northern Forum felt very proud of the giant strides of Hadiza Bala Usman especially when we read in the news how global bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH) amongst others in recognition of her strides at the NPA appointed her to head strategic aspects of their operations,” the forum said.
The group observed that whilst it is not opposed to probity in governance, there appears to be a sinister and clandestine motive behind the setting up of Mr. Amaechi’s administrative panel of enquiry when there is a clear procedure to discipline erring Chief Executives of Parastatals as approved by Mr President himself in a circular dated May 2020.
The forum alleged it is evident that he (Amaechi) has set up a panel of inquiry to do his bidding, asking in which world does a complainant become the judge and jury over a case?
The group said it is curious to ask why only Hadiza Bala Usman was asked to step aside in an organization whose decision making is carried out by an executive management composed of a Managing Director and three (3) Executive Directors, arguing that, “could she have single handedly carried out all of the allegations for which she has been suspended?’.