The Coalition of Arewa Youths and Women, a large and vibrant group of young men and women from Northern Nigeria has expressed support for the suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala -Usman by President Muhammadu Buhari. The group also called for a thorough and extensive probe into the activities of the agency to unearth what they believed was a large, high scale financial malfeasance under the management of the suspended Ms. Bala-Usman.
In a statement issued from Kano on Monday and signed by its President, Hassan Abdullahi and Secretary-General Salamatu Aliyu, the group said:
“We are compelled to speak on the recent ugly occurrences at the Nigerian Ports Authority. We want to be clear that we are fully in support of the suspension from office of the managing director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman by President Buhari. The issues and allegations that led to her suspension are indeed grave and to act otherwise by leaving her in office, would have hampered the inquiry, which would have placed a huge dent on the anti-corruption war of the Buhari administration.
“Information in the public domain and at our private disposal, clearly shows that there is indeed trouble in NPA. The level of suspicious opaque accounting practices, financial discrepancies and mismanagement of the agency’s finances under Ms. Usman is not only worrisome but also alarming. Allegations backed with documents that the suspended NPA MD have been perpetrating huge, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the government and drive the NPA’s budgets ever-higher need to be thoroughly investigated.’
“Also, Hadiza Bala Usman is accused of excessive increase in administrative operational expenses, extra-budgetary expenditures on hotel accommodation and under-disclosure of expenditures on hotel expenses, Corporate Social Responsibility Projects, etc.”
“We want to urge and warn the Ministry of Transport and its Minister, Rotimi Amaechi to ensure that a thorough, transparent forensic probe is carried out on NPA’s financial activities. Anything short of this will not serve the interests of Nigeria and will be unacceptable to Nigerians.”