By Steve Agbota
The suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has said that the allegations the former senator, Ms Binta Garba, made against her are mere only spurious, unproven.
Ms Garba had accused Ms Usman of orchestrating her removal from the board of the NPA for allegedly raising observations over the agency’s financial records.
While responding to the allegation through a statement made available to Daily Sun yesterday, Usman hinted that Binta did not really say anything substantial, adding that Binta was in the agency for destabilisation rather than for contribution to its development.
“All said and done, while I concede to Senator Binta Garba’s right to whatever opinion she desires concerning our relationship when she was a board member, I reminded her that those who allow themselves to be used to malign innocent people have their own days of reckoning waiting for them. “As I say with all emphasis that her allegations of resistant to inquiries on the finances of the NPA are false, I make bold to say that Authority has since 2016, openly exhibited its readiness to be held to public scrutiny by taking the following steps: signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with BUdgit Open Budget System, platform and Implementation of a Public Data Dissemination programme,” she explained.
She said other steps include, publishing the tariff regime of the Authority on the website for the whole world to see in line with the vision of transparency and accountability, conducting the statutory audit of the backlog of Authority’s financial statements for 2013-2016 and presenting same for approval and submission to the appropriate quarters.
“Engaging international renowned auditing firms for the audit of NPA’sfinancial statements up until 2019 with full compliance to all Nigerian laws and the International Financial Reporting Standards. The 2020 financial statement is currently being audited
“There are a few questions to ask the Senator: When the Auditors presented the financial statement to the finance committee of which she was a member, did she seek clarifications on areas that seemed opaqued or suspicious? If she did what happened? If she was not satisfied with the answers provided by the auditors, why did she not consider withholding assent to the statement? Why did she not formally document her discontent? Why did she not issue a minority opinion on the statement, instead of now speaking after the fact?”