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Hadiza Usman Ran NPA As Private Estate, Senator Binta Garba Claims |The Republican News

Suspended NPA Boss, Hadiza Bala Usman

A former member of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Senator Binta Garba has revealed how sacked Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman allegedly ran the authority like a personal estate, with scores of financial irregularities.

Senator Garba, who represented Adamawa North Senatorial District in the nation’s upper legislative chamber also alleged that the embattled former MD orchestrated her removal from the board of the NPA due to the observations she raised on the way the she ran the organisation.

In a statement in Abuja on Monday, Senator Garba insists she has been vindicated with the suspension of Hadiza Usman, insisting that a lot of inconsistencies and discrepancies in the accounts of the NPA during one of the board meetings held sometime in June last year.

“Unfortunately, I have been vindicated because I made it very clear to everyone I spoke with about the situation in NPA that it was not about me but the system, rules and procedures, as well as the survival of our institutions. I could not keep quiet and watch the suspended MD run the NPA aground. I wished she had listened but she didn’t and opted to plot my removal from the board.

“My observations and complaints with the suspended NPA MD were more with the financial statements of NPA and I was worried that if she continued, there would certainly be trouble and her sudden removal would be inevitable. I noted discrepancies, I raised observations, I asked questions but I was completely ignored and disregarded. Answers were never provided, until my removal was plotted.

“When the board came in, its first meeting was in June 2020, with the aim of deliberating on the financial report. I made some observations on the report which, obviously, the MD, Hadiza Bala Usman, was not comfortable with. At the time, the report covered two years but I objected, pointing out that, under normal circumstances, procedurally and international norms, it should cover a minimum of three years. It was after my objection that the MD grudgingly and resentfully provided the third year’s report. I wasn’t really comfortable. I observed more discrepancies with the financials and asked questions about them. The MD was uncomfortable and even felt slighted by the objective comments and questions.

“Scrutinising the financial reports of the NPA is a very critical and very important aspect of my role and function as a member of its board appointed by the President. I was not ready to abdicate that core responsibility. For me, my board membership of NPA, like every other public office I have held, was a call to serve my country and I was prepared to give it my all. But the suspended MD felt offended by my observations, questions, spotting obvious inconsistencies and acted like someone with a lot to hide. Answers were not forthcoming and, when they did, were less than satisfactory.

“Some members of the board felt I was the only one holding the financial report back. I had to meet with the Minister of Transportation and I told him I wasn’t comfortable with the way and manner the board was being handled and treated by the MD and that I wanted to resign.

“The board chairman, Chief Akin Ricketts (whose removal as board chairman was also orchestrated by the MD) and some other members, prevailed on me not to resign and that, if I did, it would send the wrong signal and would not be good for the President. We settled down to work on it (the financial reports).

“After sometime, my uneasiness did not go away. Again, I met with the Minister of Transportation and told him that I did not want to continue with the board with the way the MD was running the place. I met someone high up in the Presidential Villa and told him my own story and advised that the MD be called to order.

“Instead of making amends, the suspended MD’s next move was to go against the NPA Act by designing my removal from the board. The Act stipulates that it is the Minister who should send names of appointees to the board to the President for approval. For someone to unilaterally go against the Act and the Minister that brought her on board was rather unfortunate”, she said.

“Instead, what followed next was my removal from the board, while the then chairman was demoted to a floor member with the appointment of another chairman”, the Senator also lamented.

The statement reads in part: “In January 2021, Senator John Akpanudoedehe and I were removed from the board and our removal was clearly orchestrated by the now suspended Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman. Before my removal, I was not comfortable with the way the board and authority were run.

“I consistently expressed my discomfort and displeasure with the way the MD was running the place and this, I have no iota of doubt in my mind made her to orchestrate my removal from the board. Note, I was removed without the knowledge of the supervising Ministry/Minister of Transport, which was very uncommon”.

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NPA SAGA: I Gave No Contract To Dangote, Received No Money From Him —Hadiza Usman |The Republican News

Embattled NPA Boss, Hadiza Bala Usman

Suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, on Sunday expressed anger over allegations by the portal by Sahara Reporters that she awarded the Coastline Terminals contract to a proxy company of business mogul Aliko Dangote “in a shady deal”.

“My attention has been drawn to a report published by Sahara Reporters alleging that I, Hadiza Bala Usman “was involved in a clandestine ploy to shortchange a company in favour of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.”

“This report is false, without any foundation and a figment of some wild imagination of the news platform,” Ms Usman said while reacting to the story entitled “How Suspended NPA Boss, Hadiza Usman Awarded Coastline Terminals to Dangote’s Proxy Company in Shady Deal”.

“To start with,” she said in a statement, “the Nigerian Ports Authority has an executive management team, which always considers and takes business decisions on all assets of the Authority in the best interest of Nigeria. To claim that I singlehandedly awarded a contract in my capacity as Managing Director, is therefore, irresponsible, mischievous, and defamatory.

“The report also mischievously lumped the now expired service boat contract between the NPA and the Integrated Logistics Services’ (INTELs), which took off in 2007 with a review of a ten-year extension in 2011 to culminate in an expiration in August 2020 with the lease under discussion. The service boat contract expired through the effluxion of time and the Authority initiated a procurement process in which INTELs participated in line with all extant laws.

“Concerning Onne berths 9, 10 and 11, which the report alleged was “clandestinely” taken from INTELs.”

Ms Usman said that the true position is as follows:

• The Authority offered these berths to INTELs in 2013 without any contractual agreement even though the offer letter required that the company should pay rent to the Authority for the use of the berths.

• In 2018, the Authority realised that INTELs had neither been making these payments for five years nor putting the berths to optimal use.

The Authority then wrote INTELs to request for the payment of the arrears of monies that were unpaid and expand the utilisation of the facility.

• With the continued under-utilisation of the facility, the fact that there was no contractual agreement with INTELs from the outset and the urgent need to decongest the ports in Lagos, the Authority offered the berths to an internationally renowned container handling company, Messers International Container Terminal Nigerian Limited (ICTNL) for the use of the berths for container cargo discharging.

• ICTNL has signed a contract for the lease of the berths with the Authority and has commenced the installation of container handling equipment when INTELS instituted a court action challenging the withdrawal of the offer. That case is still in court!

• And according to reports in the media, ICTNL has refuted allegations that it has connections with Alhaji Aliko Dangote. This exposes another disgraceful fabrication by Sahara Reporters.

“I also note the insinuation of a non-existent monetary transfer between Alhaji Dangote and I during the 2015 elections. As I told People’s Gazette when I was approached about this story, no such transaction occurred.

“Having gone through the trouble to give this explanation, I demand that Sahara Reporters publish this rebuttal and give it the same measure of prominence given to the false story, which runs against all known ethics of journalism,” the suspended NPA MD said. (News Express)

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Suspended NPA Chief, Hadiza Usman Awarded Coastline Terminals To Dangote Proxy Company In A Shady Deal |RN

BY BRIDGET EDOKWE

Suspended Nigeria Ports Authority Manager, Hadiza Bala, was involved in a clandestine ploy to shortchange a company in favour of Africa’s richest, Aliko Dangote, documents obtained by SaharaReporters have revealed.

Suspended NPA Boss, Hadiza Bala Usman

Last year, some coastline terminals, formerly operated by Integrated Logistics Services’ (INTELs) in Onne ports complex, Rivers State, were confiscated and subsequently awarded to Dangote through a proxy company, International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) Nigeria limited.

Onne Port Complex is one of the largest Oil and Gas Free Zone in Africa, where major industry players from the exploration up to the completion phases operate.

The complex has two major terminals: the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT).

For over a decade, INTELs Nigeria, partly owned by former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar, operated some berths at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) of the complex, providing logistics services until 2020.

The three berths of FOT numbered 9, 10 and were taken over by the NPA in a controversial manner, which many thought was a move by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration move to witch-hunt Abubakar, his opponent in the 2019 election and break the company’s monopoly.

The NPA, in September 2020, issued a notice announcing that the service operation handled by the Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria had been terminated.

It further states that all Service Boats Owners and Operators are to do transactions directly in each of the Port Complex of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Meanwhile, a memo released to the press, seen by SaharaReporters, showed that Usman had transferred the berths confiscated from INTELs to ICTSI, a proxy company traced to Dangote, five months earlier.

The leaked memo, dated May 13, was signed by Yusuf Ahmed, NPA’s Director of Lands & Asset Admin, on behalf of Usman.

“Please refer to the lease of land and berths 9, 10 and 11 granted to you at FOT Onne and find attached herewith the draft Lease Agreement for a review of its possible contents before the final copy is produced for execution,” the letter addressed to the managing director of ICTSI.

Ahmed urged the company to send their comments for consideration.

“A registered surveyor will be appointed to produce the survey plan of the property to incorporation in the Lease Agreement and you will be required to see the surveyors fees,” it further read.

This was not Usman’s first time dealing with Dangote as money transfers between the duo dates back to 2015.

A Nigerian newspaper, Peoples Gazette, had previously reported how Dangote transferred N200 million to a bank account run by Usman during the build-up of the 2015 general election.

The transactions were sent in two tranches from two different bank accounts of Africa’s richest man to Ms Bala Usman’s account with Access Bank, the newspaper reported.

“Ms. Bala Usman received the first N100 million transfer on February 6, 2015, while the second N100 million came through three days later on February 9. The transfers carried ambiguous descriptions that made it difficult to conclude their purpose.”

Ms Bala was recently instructed to step aside for an independent investigation into a series of allegations of impropriety.

Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, also alleged that the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the regulatory body from 2016 to 2020 was short of the amount due for actual remittance — a claim, which according to him, should be investigated.

On Thursday, no reason was given for the suspension of Usman, who was reappointed for another five-year tenure recently.

She was first appointed as the Managing Director of NPA in 2016.

According to a release by President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Transportation for the setting up of an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate the Management of NPA.

“The President has also approved that the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, to step aside while the investigation is carried out. Mr Mohammed Koko will act in that position. The panel is to be headed by the Director, Maritime Services of the Ministry, while the Deputy Director, Legal of the same ministry, will serve as Secretary. The Minister will appoint other panel members,” Shehu had said in the release.

While details of some of the other allegations against Usman remain unclear, sources said acts of favouritism were part. (SaharaReporters)

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President Buhari Suspends Hadiza Usman As NPA Chief Over Corruption Allegations |The Republican News

Nigerian Ports Authority Boss, Hadiza Usman

Jude Egbas

■Mohammed Koko would replace high flying Usman in acting capacity.

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, to step aside while investigation is carried out into the operations of one of the nation’s biggest money spinners.

Presidency sources have told Pulse that Usman, 45, is now as good as gone from one of the most lucrative agencies in the federation, following mismanagement and corruption allegations.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Transportation under Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for the setting up of an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA,” the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.

Mohammed Koko would replace Usman in an acting capacity.

“The president has also approved that the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman step aside while the investigation is carried out. Mr. Mohammed Koko will act in that position.

“The panel is to be headed by the Director, Maritime Services of the Ministry while the Deputy Director, Legal of the same ministry will serve as Secretary.

“Other members of the panel will be appointed by the minister,” Shehu added.

Usman was first appointed Managing Director of the NPA in 2016. She was reappointed into the position in January of 2021.

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BREAKING NEWS: Angry Mob Set NPA Headquarters In Lagos On Fire |The Republican News

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) building has been set ablaze by hoodlums protesting the killing of peaceful young protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on Tuesday night.

Details later…

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NNPC, NPA, FIRS, Others Failed To Remit N526bn, $21bn, Says NEC |RN

Maikanti-Baru-NNPC

NNPC boss, Dr Maikanti

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Eighteen Federal Government’s revenue generating agencies failed to remit N526bn and $21bn into the Federation Account between 2010 and June 2015, an audit commissioned by the National Economic Council has revealed.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has therefore recommended that the affected agencies be made to refund the money.

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the NEC presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant ministers as members.

Dankwambo explained that the shortchanging by the agencies was detected by an audit firm, KPMG, which was contracted by the NEC to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Accounts by the NEC.

The governor listed the government agencies indicted of underpayment by the audit report to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, among others.

Apart from refunding the money, Dankwambo said a sub-committee would be set up to look into the details of the infringement.

He said those found to be criminal in nature would be handed over to the Attorney General of the Federation for action.

The governor said, “KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs, concluding that a total sum of N526bn and $21 bn was underpaid to the Federation Account.

“NEC’s Ad-hoc Committee which I head with members including governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos states and the finance minister recommended refund of the amounts underpaid.

“Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.

“Council resolved to pursue the strengthening of the NNPC’s governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross underpayment by the NNPC and other RGAs.”

The governor said it was resolved that the audit period is extended to June 2017.

“One of the resolutions of NEC is to extend the audit to June 2017. So the audit will continue for the remaining agencies.

“It is NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. It is a voluminous report; there are a lot of items that are there.

“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into the details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”

Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said the issue of whether states should henceforth determine how much is paid as fuel subsidy and not NNPC came up at the meeting.

He, however, said a final decision on the matter would be taken at the next meeting.

He said, “We are doing the nitty-gritty with the NNPC in terms of remittances. Don’t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was that the oil prices were too low. It was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make their profit.

“So, when the price started jacking up, then marketers started adjusting back because they needed to have a template of cost recovery and how they are going to make up the difference from the pump price to the landing cost of what they are importing.

“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable. Working with the governors, so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.

“For instance, if you say we paid the N800bn subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at the infrastructure development and capital programme of the Federal Government, it is about N1.1trn, almost 70 percent of what you are spending on developing the economy.

“If there is no infrastructure development, then you cannot talk about the development of the economy. N800bn is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it.

“So, we are coming up with a strategy; we are going to meet in the months of May and June. By next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of the government at both the level of volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and federal governments collaborate to check.”

Adeosun reported to the council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account as of May 14, 2018, stood at $1, 830, 682, 945.30.

She also reported to Council that the current balance in the Stabilisation Account as of the same day stood at N15, 725,456,963.83.

She put the balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund at N116, 104,644,763.39.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, gave an update to council on the just-concluded Economic Recovery Growth Plan Focus Labs.

Udoma told members that the Labs identified 164 projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

He said the outcome indicated that over 500,000 jobs were likely to be created by 2020 and that more labs would be conducted in due course for other sectors.  (Punch)

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