By Olajide Meseko
Hadiza Bala Usman’s suspension from the office of Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has everything to do with the supremacy battle and power tussle between her and Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, various sources in the presidency and at the ports told DgovScoops.
On March 4, 2021, Amaechi addressed a memo to President Buhari, essentially accusing Bala Usman of misappropriating N165 billion; and of not remitting the quoted amount to the federation account.
The memo was titled: Remittance of operating surplus to the consolidated revenue fund account by the Nigerian Ports Authority from 2016 to date.
The memo which was signed by Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, read as follows:
“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 year 2016 to 2020 has been far short of the amount due for actual remittance (see the tables attached).
“In view of the above, I wish to suggest that the financial account of the activities of Nigerian Ports Authority be investigated for the period 2016 to 2020 to ascertain the true financial position and the outstanding unremitted balance of one hundred and sixty five billion, three hundred and twenty five million, nine hundred and sixty two thousand, six hundred and ninety seven Naira only (N165,320,962,679).”
Hadiza Bala Usman has been suspended by the president from the NPA
Amaechi prayed Buhari to order an audit into the accounts and operations of the NPA from 2016 to 2020.
Buhari approved the memo on March 17 and Bala Usman’s position became untenable–her access to the president and to powerful state governors notwithstanding.
When it comes to accusations bordering on non-remittance of monies from agencies and parastatals into the federation account, Buhari can be very unforgiving.