BY BODE GBADEBO |
Managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has revealed that the revenue-generating agency incurred more than a billion Naira loss to vandalism and outright theft during the hijacked #EndSARS protest in Lagos State.
Hadiza spoke yesterday before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport during the 2020 budget appraisal and the proposed 2021 budget defense by the agency.
This is as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) declared its readiness to partner with NPA on goods evacuation from the ports as a way of solving the problem of traffic gridlock on roads leading to the ports.
Accordimg to the NPA boss, the sum of N807million had been earmarked for rehabilitation of the burnt portion of the agency’s headquarters.
This she added was different from monies to be spent on replacement of 27 vehicles burnt by the vandals and three other ones that were stolen.
“These vehicles being operational ones need to be replaced as soon as insurance companies come up with the aspect of losses to be shouldered.
“Aside the burnt building and vehicles, other working tools like 317 computers were looted as well as photocopiers. Cost of replacement of which will be above a Billion Naira when added to the N807million already estimated for rehabilitation of the burnt building,” she added.
Hadiza, however, assured the committee that the NPA, based on ongoing arrangements with the Lagos State Government and NIWA, was coming up with lasting solutions to traffic gridlock on roads leading to the ports in Lagos.
She said an electronic call-up system has been put in place for trucks accessing the ports for evacuation of goods.
“Trucks Park has been established in Orile which is to serve as a call-up centre for any truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
“Besides this arrangement, ultra-modern rail lines leading to Apapa port and water transportation being offered by NIWA, are also helping out,” she explained.
Also, the managing director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, informed the Senate committee that the N3.9billlion budget estimates proposed for the agency in 2021 will be primarily implemented towards upscaling the development of inland water transportation in Nigeria.
Accordimg to him, out of the N3.9billion budget size, N1.3billion is for recurrent expenditure, N1.4billion for capital expenditure and N1.1billion projected as remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
In his remarks after the budget defence sessions, the chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), told the agencies to scale up their projected revenues in 2021 fiscal year for easy 2021 budget implementation.
“Be rest assured that this committee shall through its oversight functions, monitor your revenue drives in 2021 as well as remittances into the CRF,” Goje said.