The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has explained why the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman was suspended.
Amaechi noted that Bala Usman was asked to step aside for proper investigation into the activities of NPA.
It was reported that a 11-man panel of inquiry has been set up to probe the activities of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) 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 during an interview monitored by The Nation, 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.”