The managing director, National Inland Waterways Authourity (NIWA), Engr. Yakubu Zubairu has been suspended from office on the orders of the minister of transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio.
The suspension came barely 48 hours after the NIWA boss complained about the alleged shoddy manner in which the contractor that is handling the Lokoja port project was executing the contract.
The now-suspended managing director had, in the course of his presentation to the new minister about NIWA, expressed misgivings about the ability of the contractor Messrs FOBY Nigeria Limited to deliver on the N2.3billion project despite having been paid sufficient mobilization fee.
The minister had on hearing of the nonchalant attitude alleged being displayed by the contractor ordered the contractor to see him in office; stressing that transportation sector through the inland waterways is one of the key areas of focus of President Umar Yar’Adua.
The immediate past Minister of State for Transportation, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka had equally expressed displeasure with the scope of work on the Lokoja port project when he carried out an on- the- spot assessment at the site to ascertain the extent work done.
But, in an apparent twist of fate, less than 48 hours after the development, the NIWA boss was asked to proceed on suspension for alleged insubordination to the minister, financial impropriety and award of questionable contracts
A panel is to be constituted to probe the suspended managing director as well as the agency, even as the deputy director in charge of ports at the ministry, Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa has been seconded to NIWA to take charge pending when the probe panel will finish its assignment.