A coalition of maritime stakeholders in the continent, Africa Blue Economy Coalition (ABEC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for probing remittance shortfalls in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The coalition said the suspension of the head of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman over alleged insubordination and abuse of office was a bold step by the President to clean the nation’s maritime sector.
The continental body of 63 civil society organisations across Africa gave the commendation during a virtual quarterly briefing coordinated from their secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya.
The session was moderated by the Secretary-General Mr. Mukisa Solomon. The coalition also reiterated their commitment to supporting the implementation of the AU-Africa Blue Economy Strategy and other related frameworks that could contribute to reducing poverty and dependence on aid in the continent.
The group observed that at a time when the continent is still coping with the negative economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, further dependence on natural resources will keep Africa stagnated with its future uncertain.
In this regard, the group called on African governments to harness the potentials of the blue economy as it will provide the surest pathway towards economic diversification and the creation of value-added jobs that can hasten Africa’s post-pandemic recovery.
Commenting further on the reported developments that led to the suspension of the former managing director of the NPA, the group said they are regularly receiving feedback from colleagues as the matters unfold.
It applauded the office of the auditor general of the Nigerian Federation headed by Mr Aghughu Adolphous, who is also chairman of African Union Board of External Auditors for rising to the responsibilities of his office in an exemplary manner and admonished other government agencies to support President Buhari’s commitment to transparency.
The meeting further said it was an audit query from the Office of the Auditor-General that initially raised the issues of alleged betrayal of trust and flagrant abuse of due process on the part of the suspended managing director.