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I have the right to know what’s going on at NPA— Ameachi —says noise over suspension of Hadiza unnecessary.

 Eyewitness reporter

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has dismissed as unnecessary the controversy which the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has so far generated among Nigerians.

Ameachi, who made this assertion on Monday in Abuja while inaugurating the 11- man committee that will probe the alleged financial impropriety against the suspended NPA Chief, declared that he has the right, as the Minister of Transportation, to know what is going on at NPA.
Ameachi, who was apparently bemused with the hysteria that greeted the development, said it was ridiculous for people to say he should not exercise his oversight functions over the NPA or any other agency under his ministry.
He said as a Minister of Transportation for over four years, he hardly knew what is going on in NPA, adding that it was high time for him to know what is going on in the place.
“As the Minister of Transportation for four years, I hardly know what is happening and I want to know now”
He declared that investigation is part of the mandate of the ministry to oversee the activities of its various 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 with that.

“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.

“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?

inauguration of NPA probe panel

Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of state,  Gbemisola Saraki, described the public reactions over the suspension of Hadiza as surprising, adding that 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 in 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 charged members of the panel.
While admonishing the probe panel, Ameachi asked the members to be diligent, focused, and thorough in their assignment.
“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 finding 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.
According to Amaechi, NPA is an agency that manages maritime trading activities in Nigeria and should be able to get in a lot of resources for the government to run the country.
It would be recalled that on May 6th, 2021, 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 channels, 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 the future.

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

He thanked the committee for accepting to serve and also appreciated the Minister of State for Transport, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, for her diligence on the matter.

The Minister then reiterated that the public should allow the ministry to do its job.

“Let us reduce the shouting and allow the committee to do its job. Then, we will come out with a report, which we will avail to the public after it is being passed to the President,” he said.
The  Chairman of the committee, Mr. Suleiman Auwalu, 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.”

It should also be recalled that President Buhari approved that Usman stepped aside for the period of the investigation while directing Mr Mohammed Koko, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the NPA, to serve as the Acting Managing Director of the agency.
The panel has no time limit to submit its report.
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Headlines

IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola

 

— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Headlines

Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG

 

The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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