By Kanmi AKINLADE Investigator Correspondent Northern zone Senior/
ABUJA- IT is no longer news that the the former Managing Director MD of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA Ms Hadiza Bala Usman is on suspension and may not come back to the office as such. It is also no news that one of her estwhile directors, Mohammed Koko has taken her position. What’s however, newsy is that the former favourite of President muhammadu Buhari was sent packing not because of the alleged financial impropriety occassioned by the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi’s letter, but her recent stand and statement on the state of insecurity in the country. Recall that Amaechi, whose ministry oversees the affairs of NPA had a few days ago, petitioned the president calling for a probe into the finances of NPA under Hadiza’s watch since 2016 till date. In his letter titled “Remittance of Operating Surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account by the Nigerian Ports Authority from 2016-Date,” and dated 4th March 2021 and addressed to President Buhari, Amaechi prayed for an investigation to be carried out to ascertain the financial records of NPA. According to the letter, the Minister drew the attention of the President to what he believes counts for a financial misdeed; saying, “It has been observed from the records submitted by the Budget Office of the Federation that the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the Nigerian Ports Authority from the year 2016 to 2020 has been far short of the amount due for actual remittance. In view of the above, I wish to suggest that the financial account of the activities of NPA be investigated for the period 2016-2020 to ascertain the true financial position and the outstanding unremitted balance of one hundred and sixty-five billion, three hundred and twenty million, nine hundred and sixty-two thousand, six hundred and Ninety-seven naira only (N165, 320, 962, 697).”
Two weeks later (March 17), President Buhari minuted on the letter with these words, “HMT (Honourable Minister of Transportation), your above prayer is approved,” followed by yet another letter signed by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President conveying Buhari’s approval for the investigation of the alleged financial shenanigan. Whereas,
Hadiza Bala-Usman has since pleaded her innocence of the allegation, she was asked to vacate office pending the outcome of the probe even though, it crystal clear that she wasn’t coming back.
Presidency sources whispered to CrimeWorld magazine online that the last straw that sent Hadiza packing was her twit on the kidnap of Kagara students by alleged bandits. The embarttled former NPA’s helmsman had taken to her verified Twitter handle and twitted: “The state of insecurity in the country that has led to the kidnap of Kagara boys and Zamfara girls needs to be addressed urgently. We can not go on like this! Rescue our children and secure our country, that is all we ask…”
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