Amid report that President Muhammadu Buhari is considering reinstating the suspended managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, the panel set up by the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has submitted its report, BUSINESSinsiderng can report.
A source in the federal ministry of transportation, Abuja had informed our correspondent that the panel had submitted its report two weeks ago and may have recommended reinstatement of the suspended MD.
According to the source who craved anonymity because she wasn’t authorised to speak to the press, she said the suspended NPA boss had been invited and had defended herself.
The source said, ” I can tell you for free that Hadiza Bala Usman had her time with the panel where she was able to defend herself. The report was submitted to the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi two weeks ago.”
It was gathered that after the investigation, the report of the panel will be made public and when it is made public, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) will constitute a committee to come up with a white paper that will spell out how the recommendations will be implemented.
“A white paper would have to be made public for the recommendations of the panel. What I know is that the report of the panel has not been made public yet. When it is made public, the SGF will normally constitute a committee to come up with a white paper that will spell out how the recommendations should be implemented. None of these has been done yet,” a presidency source has said.
BUSINESSinsiderng recall that Bala-Usman was suspended for proper investigation into the activities of NPA and a 11-man panel of inquiry has been set up to probe the activities of the authority between 2016 to 2021 under her leadership.
Bala Usman was reportedly suspended for various infractions, including failure to remit surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
She was first appointed as the NPA MD in July 2016.
In January, President Muhammadu Buhari reappointed her as NPA MD, for additional five-year tenure.
But explaining the reason for the suspension of Bala Usman, Amaechi noted that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) under Bala Usman’s leadership was completely shut out.
He said, “Nothing really happened… Part of the responsibility of minister of transportation from time to time is to give general instructions as it affects parastatals that are under the ministry of transport and give general directions where you think the parastatals should head to.
“With NPA, I think it was just completely shut out and we didn’t know what was going on in the parastatal and we wanted to know…
“We sought the approval of the president to carry out an investigation and he approved, and we also sought for the approval of the president to ask the managing director of NPA to step aside so that she would not interfere with the process of investigation.
“Don’t forget we are investigating the NPA and not the managing director of NPA.” He added.
When asked if she (Bala-Usman) might return back to her position as the managing director, Amaechi said “I don’t know; only the president can make that decision.”