The sacked managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, has finally reveal reason for her sacked from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) by the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
The former NPA boss, who revealed this in her new book title, Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority, said she was persecuted by the Minister for her failure to give him a birthday present.
She wrote that many notable Nigerians met the minister in order to resolve the acrimony between them shortly after she was asked to “step aside” in May 2021.
According to her, the minister rejected entreaties from governors, Customs boss Hameed Ali and others to reinstate her, citing frivolous excuses of selfishness and failure to do “nothing for him”.
“Interest groups and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) also tried to intervene. I know for instance that Governors elected on the platform of the APC, the Progressive Governors Forum, chaired by Governor Atiku Bagudu deliberated on the issue of my suspension and constituted a committee to intervene,” she wrote in the book.
“The Governors’ team met with the Minister to discuss a resolution of the matter. He insisted that my management of the NPA had to be investigated due to the amount unremitted to the CRF [Consolidated Revenue Fund]. He even tried to Sway the governors’ resolve by suggesting that the budget of the NPA was bigger than most of their state budgets so they shouldn’t bother about me.
“When the governors persisted, he told them that the matter was no longer just within his purview and that they may need to approach the Head of Service of the Federation.
“He told another person who tried to intervene that I was so selfish that did nothing for him from NPA and never even gave him a birthday present!
“The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) also made efforts to resolve the issue by intervening at various levels.”
In the book she also revealed how the minister attempted to rope her with bogus charges of non-remittance of operating surplus into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, noting that the probe panel at the end of its prolonged investigation never found her wanting.
“On 5 May 2021, I took an early morning flight to Abuja to honour an appointment. The meeting ended early enough for me to catch a 2pm flight back to Lagos. It was at this time that I learnt that the President had approved that I should step aside as MD on the recommendation of the Minister of Transportation.