Amaechi Inaugurates 11-Member Committee To Probe NPA Activities

Hadiza- Amaechi Straightnews
Hadiza- Amaechi

Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has inaugurated an 11-member committee to investigate activities of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on May 6, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recommendation of the Amaechi for the setting up of an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate the Management of the NPA.

Amaechi, while inaugurating the committee on Monday in Abuja, charged the members to be diligent and ensure they do a thorough job.

The committee’s terms of reference, he said, include examining and investigating the administrative policies and strategies adopted by NPA’s Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, and confirm compliance with extant laws and rules from 2016 till date.

”Examine and investigate issues leading to the termination of other contracts of NPA and confirm compliance with the terms of the respective contracts, court ruling and presidential directives.

“Examine and investigate compliance with communication channel, as obtained in the public service.

“Examine and investigate the procurement of contracts from 2016 to date.

“Come up with suggestions and advice that would strengthen the operations of NPA and forestall such occurrences in future.

“And any other matter that may be necessary in the course of the assignment,” the minister said.

According to Amaechi, the investigation is part of the mandate of the ministry to oversee activities of its various parastatal agencies.

“This is in the discharge of our responsibility as a ministry and I don’t see why anybody is complaining.

“What is wrong in looking at what is happening in NPA? I don’t see what is wrong in that. As the Minister of Transportation for four years, I hardly know what is happening and I want to know now.

“The president agrees with me that it’s my responsibility as minister to find out what is going on.

“It worries me that people are saying we should not ask questions. Nobody has been indicted.

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“It is just, can we know what is going on in NPA? That’s the question.

“If everything is right, why do we have to bother at the end of the day?

“When you have completed your assignment, we will be glad to pass on the report to the President, but don’t forget your assignment will include activities of procurement and its processes from 2016 till date.

“And that is why you do not have a time limit. So, it will take you some time. You are not auditing, but to find out the processes.

“Please be diligent, invite anybody you want to invite, including the minister, if there are infractions you need me to clarify,” he said.

Also speaking, Minister of State (Transportation), Senator Gbemisola Saraki said the investigation was within the purview of the ministry.

“This is why the ministry supervises and part of that role is looking, asking questions, and ensuring that things are done with due process.

“For the panel, there is so much noise,  so it’s best you block your ears. Keep your head down and do what is in the interest of the entire country,” Saraki said.

Responding, Chairman of the committee, Suleiman Auwalu, who doubles as Director of Maritime Services of the ministry pledged the commitment of other members to diligently carry out the duties assigned to them.

“I assure you that we are going to work; we are going, to be honest, and fair in the discharge of this responsibility.

”At the end of the day, we want to turn up a report that will be true and it will be in the interest of the country.

“So, we are seeking God’s guidance for us to do the right thing at the right time,” Auwalu said.

The 11-man committee is made up of five directors from the Ministry while the remaining six, including the co-chairman, Ben Omogo, are drawn from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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Recall that President Buhari last week, directed Hadiza Bala-Usman to step aside for the entire duration of the Investigation while directing Mohammed Koko (Director, Finance and Administration of NPA) to step in an acting capacity.