By Moses Ebosele –
The appointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman as Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has continued to generate controversy within and outside the maritime sector.
While some Nigerians commend President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the recommendation reportedly made by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, others are of the opinion that the appointment did not put all factors into considerations.
For example, some respondents who spoke with City BusinessNews immediately the appointment was made public linked the new NPA boss to a board member of one of the firm operating in the sector.
But, others described the appointment as “timely, satisfactory and should be commended by all stakeholders”.
President National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwer, in his comment monitored on the social media last night described the appointment as a good one, “that is a good appointment so as to reposition NPA to be focus”.
In his opinion, an economist, Matthew Otoide said: “The appointment is in order. The lady is educated and resolute. We should support her. NPA has lost focus. We need new ideas to move forward. You can not do things same way and expect different result”.
Otoide advised the new NPA boss to consider “massive reforms and restructuring”, adding that it is the “only option for now”.
Bala-Usman takes over from Habib Abdullahi who was reappointed to the position in August 2015 after he was earlier removed from the in April of the same year by former Presient Goodluck Jonathan.
In related development, a statement issued by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Yetunde Sonaike, stated that others appointed were Mohammed Bello-Koko as Executive Director, Finance; Prof. Idris Abubakar, Executive Director Engineering; Dr Sekonte Davies as Executive Director, Marine Operations.
According to the statement, Usman was born on Jan. 2, 1976 in Zaria, Kaduna State and has a B.Sc. Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and a Post Graduate in Development Studies from University of Leeds, United Kingdom in 2009.
She worked at Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) from July 2000 to August 2004 as Enterprise Officer and hired by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) from October 2004 to January 2008 as Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Implementation.
Sonaike explained that the new NPA boss worked between 2011 and 2015 as Director of Strategy of the Good Governance Group, a non-governmental organisation founded by Kaduna State State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his friends.
She was, in 2015, appointed Chief of Staff to Governor El-Rufa’i, a position she held until her present appointment.
She is also a prominent member of Bring Back Our Girls campsign group.
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