Stakeholders in the country’s maritime industry have lamented the alleged absence of adherence to due process from the suspension of their embattled Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman.
The stakeholders who spoke in separate interviews said the suspension was unjustified, describing it as a setback for women inclusion in the marine industry.
The suspension, they added, could slow down the reforms made up to now in the business.
The investigators also opined that the suspended MD should happen to be providing honest hearing urging that she should not be rubbished from office for individual governmental interest.
Discussing with marine with newsmen in Lagos, the immediate past President of Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), Mary Hamman explained that due process needs to have been followed at the suspension of Bala-Usman as Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
According to the prior WISTA President, “The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated he is not conscious of what is happening in the NPA since 2016, and that’s why he set up that 11-man panel. For me, it is good for the suspended Managing Director because if her hands are clean, she’ll be exonerated. If otherwise, then she will face the music.”
I am a retired civil servant and believe this in accord with civil service rules, she should’ve been queried first, and allowed to react to the question prior to any action that will then be taken on her circumstance.
“They ought to have followed due process because until you say somebody should go on suspension, she needs to have been queried and allowed to respond to the query. Her tenure has been revived, so without allowing her to understand what she has done wrong and even given the chance to respond before suspension shows a lack of due procedure.”
He said the suspension was a ridicule on the country’s maritime sector particularly now that Nigeria is recording profits among comity of nations thanks to her reform processes.
Listed posited that Bala-Usman has been making continuous progress in the sector and doesn’t deserve such treatment from the Nigerian authorities, particularly when the allegations have not yet been substantiated.
“If an allegation is made, then you should allow the person to defend herself rather than suspending her. This suspension is to ridicule the whole maritime sector. “For me, it is a very unfortunate circumstance. We’re thinking that NPA has come taking cognizance of what the girl is putting into place. She has been the one making moves to reform the industry.
“A lot of things which weren’t done before today were being done, take, for example, the automation and seamless operations of the NPA. If they just push out her just like that, I visit that a drawback to the emptiness. Despite many intimidations, she’s continued with her work. Even though the EndSars protest, she did not relent, only for her to be rewarded this manner,”he bemoaned.
Also speaking, the President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Boost Uche, stated Bala-Usman’s removal was a drawback to campaign for women inclusion in government and the marine sector in particular.