A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Akinjide Kazeem Akinola, has urged the federal government to make public, the process and outcome of the investigation of the suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman.
Akinola told reporters on Friday in Abuja that the hastened suspension of Ms. Usman calls for questioning as it may be a case of corruption fighting back.
Usman, who was suspended on 6 May, 2020 over corruption allegations, was appointed the MD of NPA in July 2016.
Akinola, who is an APC stalwart in Oyo State, described her suspension as an economic sabotage to Nigeria regarding how she has contributed to the nations account after she generated N1.02trn in three years, from 2016 to 2019.
“Results shows that in 2016, the NPA revenue went up to N182.42bn against the N173.447bn generated in 2015. In 2017 the Authority generated a total of N259.99bn, marking about 42 percent increase compared to 2016.
“In 2018, the revenue generation hit N282.42bn while 2019 peaked at around N300bn, making it the highest in the authority’s history,” Akinola said.
Speaking on the reforms at the NPA carried out by Usman, the APC chieftain said she simplified processes at the port, strengthened operations through legislative support, and reduced corruption at the ports.
He said, “If the government is serious with the investigation and they want to prove to Nigerians that they are not witch-hunting her, they should make the probe public and every process during the investigation should be made public, it should not be a secret probe or investigation because Nigerians deserve the right to know what really happened.
“Her reforms at the NPA were targeted at cutting corruption through automating the processes at Nigerian ports and taking NPA out of the analogue age. Nigeria has a way of any time you try to make things better, there is always a way that corruption will fight you back as you try to fight it.
“She deserves a fair hearing, and as far as I am concerned, the suspension was too fast, because if you are suspending a Managing Director and you are replacing her with someone in the system, there is more to it. It is obvious that there is an interest, and it is the case of corruption fighting back.”
He also said that the entire board should have been suspended, while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation takes charge pending the outcome of the investigation.