President Buhari ‘very supportive’ of reforms at NPA – MD

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has hailed the support by President Muhammadu Buhari as a crucial factor in overcoming some challenges.

According to her, President Buhari has been very supportive of the reforms carried out at NPA without interfering in the authority’s affairs.

“Mr. President has been very supportive of the reforms we have done in the NPA. I always would say, having a leader that does not interfere in getting you to compromise your position is an integral part of the success of any head of government agency.”

The MD who made this known in an exclusive interview published by Thisday newspaper, however noted that one of her most challenging periods came  when she   “was being put on the spot by political actors”

She said, “the tough moments I would say were when I was being put on the spot by political actors, demanding or trying to force me to compromise my position regarding compliance. So that has been a challenge, but we have been able to sort of overcome that with the support of the President.

Speaking on her achievement in the last three years, Ms Usman said “My achievements, I think, is for me to entrench transparency and accountability in our procedures. Demystify governance and provide stakeholders with an in-road to understand what it is that we do. Because understanding your operation and activities literally takes away that control that the government likes to impose on stakeholders.

She added, “Also, you look to ensure full compliance on regulations and third-party contractors that may not have been complying with regulations or contractual obligations. So we have been enforcing that.  For example, the audit; we inherited a full backlog of audited financial statements, and we within the three years, have been able to clear up the entire backlog. We have our current audit for 2018 currently being done, and I would say, this is the first time that the Nigerian Port Authority is catching up on its audit.”

The MD  fondly called Hadiza said, “In other areas, I would speak to our contributions to the Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF). When we inherited it, we had a contribution of about N18 billion, but we remitted N30 billion in 2017, N30 billion in 2018. These are clear differentials since my joining Nigerian ports. If you look at an N18-billion contribution to CRF, and then a N30-billion contribution, you can see that there is a huge difference.”

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