Maritime industry stakeholders have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for reappointing Ms Hadiza Balla Usman as the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The President, on Thursday, reappointed her as Managing Director for another five years.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed the reappointment in a statement titled “President Buhari re-appoints Hadiza Bala Usman as NPA MD, approves board members for NPA, TCN.”
It read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority for an additional five-year tenure.
“Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Mr Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (from South-west zone) also returned as Chairman.
“Other members of the board are Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (South-East zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts, (South-South zone), Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa (North-East zone), Mustapha Amin Dutse (North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (North-Central zone).
Maritime industry stakeholders who spoke to our correspondents hailed Usman’s reappointment.
The Chairman of Nigerian Port Consultative Council; Otunba Kunle Folarin said the reappointment is well-deserved, having done well in her first term.
The NPCC chairman attributed the massive road reconstruction to her ability to lobby and bring issues affecting the ports to the relevant authorities for their attention. He also commended Hadiza Balla Usman for encouraging intermodal transportation of containers from the terminals. “She tackled the challenges in the port corridor, she also provided solution to the continuous menace of trucks, especially with the use of barges. There is a lot of private sector investments in off-dock terminals outside the ports, this has helped to tackle congestion”.
“Her reappointment is well-deserved, but there is a lot more work to do”, he added. The NPCC Chair specifically said the twin issues of the Secure Anchorage Area in Lagos and that of the contractual disagreement with terminal operators; Intels in Onne port are two tough issues that she confronted frontally during her first term.
Otunba Folarin, who expressed confidence in Usman’s ability to move NPA to a higher level said, “she has served well, she has done well for the NPA, we don’t need a rookie who will start learning the ropes again. In her second term, she must put emphasis on ship traffic, port expansion, and ensure that the 25 years Port Master Plan becomes a reality”.
Also speaking, the National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr Tony Nwabunike said the MD of NPA deserved to be reappointed. He said her first term was commendable.
He also challenged her to do more in the area of intermodal transportation and use of barges for container transportation to and from the ports.
“She should ensure that all the nation’s ports are connected by rail, her efforts should not only be concentrated on Lagos, there are ports in other parts of the country, she must also ensure that the terminal operators are more supervised”, he said.
On his part, the President of Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Capt Tajudeen Alao said her re-appointment is well-deserved, he also agreed that Hadiza Bala Usman has delivered. “I believe that she has delivered, she fought the fraud in the dredging of Calabar port, the fraud in INTELS, the fraud in OMSL, and today we heard that the secured anchorage contract has been canceled by Mr. President, so I think we have a courageous leader who fought all these and I believe we are moving in the right direction”, he added.
Similarly, the President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju expressed happiness over the re-appointment of the NPA boss.
Reacting, he said, “it’s a new development, that's what we have been praying for, you know she is the mother of dock workers in Nigeria, she has contributed immensely to the growth of maritime industry in Nigeria, and has performed tremendously well, even more than the past MDs, we pray God Almighty will continue to guide her and keep her in good health, we say a very big congratulation to her”.