Echante’Women in the News
After the news of her suspension was announced, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman’s name have been making headlines since then.
Before her appointment as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Usman who has been a politician for many year is one of the co-founders of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, and is also a founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
She was once hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration as a special assistant to the Minister on project implementation. In 2015, following his election, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai appointed her as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State until she was appointed as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Her appointment generated a lot of controversies as many saw her nomination as ethnically based and questioned her qualification for the specific role.
Presently, Federal Government’s decision for Hadiza Usman to remain suspended from office as the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority until investigation on her leadership is concluded has put the once envied politician under public scrutiny. Usman was suspended as part of moves to allow independent audit to look into the account of the agency.
This was due to details of a letter sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, that the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA from 2016 to 2020 was “far short of the amount due for actual remittance.”
In her response to the Chief of Staff, dated May 5, 2021, Ms Usman argued that the basis for arriving at the operating surplus of the NPA, upon which the budget office calculated the amount due as remittances to the federation account, was flawed and not in tune with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
She said the figures provided by the budget office as the operating surplus for 2017 and 2018 were higher than the actual figures derived from the NPA’s audited financial statements.
There has been several updates centering around the issue which have continued to put Usman on the receiving end. While many speculations say the NPA boss used her office to favour a few big shots, others have spoken in favour of Usman, stating that she has been fair in doing her job.
Though it is also rumoured that those her office did not favour may be the reason for her woes, the public are anxiously watching to see how she would weather this storm.