Kano-Maradi rail: Amaechi meets German Financing Advisory, visits Mota-Engil rail site in Portugal

By admin


Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has met with the financing advisory for the construction of Kano-Maradi rail line, seeking a speed-up of the process to ensure construction begins as soon as possible.

In the meeting held at the Nigerian Embassy, Berlin with representatives of KfW-IPEX bank of Germany who are serving as an advisory in partnership with African Finance Corporation for the Kano-Maradi rail project, Amaechi stated that the ECAs (Export Credit Agencies) are free to come to Nigeria and become part of the process on ground to ensure that everything follows their recommenced practices and avert hiccups in the course of the project.

Following their concerns on resettlement of villages that may be impacted by the construction, Amaechi assured that Nigeria has laws in place for that and that the Ministry of Transportation ensured that the right of way was distant from the villages except in Kano where it is difficult to totally avoid the town.

“For us in the Ministry of Transportation, in choosing the right of way, we avoided communities. If we don’t do that, we’ll clear the entire Kano. Like in Lagos, we avoided communities and used the old line, because if we had to choose a different route we would pay billions. In fact, to even work from the old line, we paid 7 billion naira in compensations, not because the people had the right to the land, but because after 12 years and nothing is done it becomes their land and you just can’t chase them out. We still paid compensation, because the rail line was moribund. To eject them we still had to treat them as though they were the original owners of the land. We didn’t wait for Europe. That’s our law.

“In Kano-Maradi, we also took into consideration the people, we choose the right of way distant from the communities, which makes it even more expensive, because government will have to do access roads from the rail line into the communities. We did that because of environmental issues, but the Europeans want us to assume that there are people living along the route. There are none, apart from Kano.

“I don’t know what the law is in Europe in terms of your ESIA. We’ve taken the first step by giving notice, we have assessed the land. What we have not done is payment, because the payment is tied to the contract. On our part, we are ready. What I want to know is the next step to paying compensation, to know that the project is going on and that we can create employment.

The Managing Director/Global Head, Aviation Mobility and Transport, KfW-IPEX Bank, Dr Carsten Wiebers expressed belief that the Nigerian government will be able to manage the risk with pay back of the loan. He advised that the process of putting in place the consulting firms for the project should be sped-up to facilitate financing, while documentation of the process should be properly done.

“Given the fast timeline of 15months, I would recommend speeding up the process of putting in place the consulting companies and other terms of references are met to facilitate the financing. Of course the first level of requirement is your national regulation and law. You take care of that.

“What we are trying to do is create a bridge between your interests and the demands of the Export Credit Agencies, to guarantee we get an affordable loan for you. There has to be evidence of the working group in the areas where the rail would be (actual site) all the way to Kano to convince the decision makers of the ECAs.

“Personally I’m comfortable with your timeline. You dictate the speed of the construction with Mota-Engil. There needs to be an international representative on the site to avoid hiccups with the ECAs. The problem I think is documentation and communication. The process needs to be properly documented and certified,” Wiebers said.

The Director, Mobility and Transport, KfW-IPEX Bank, Sylvia Sedlacek, assured that a consortium of consultants are already working on the ESIA and would come up with the report soon, while a working group has been formed and is in talks with the Nigerian Ministries of Environment, Transportation and Housing on the Environment and social study of the are.

On his part, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar explained that the Ministry of Environment in Nigeria started as the Environmental protection agency which also came about through conventions and series of stakeholders meetings, locally and internationally. So they are naturally inclined to abide by the regulations.

Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi with a team from the Ministry and officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Portugal toured a major rail project site by Mota-Engil to ascertain their capacity to construct the Kano-Maradi rail within the stated timeframe of 15 months.

The project, ‘Corredor International Sul – Ligação Freixo/Alandroal’ also known as Evora line is a 78km rail project to unite the Port of Sines all the way to Spain. The 20km extension being handled by Mota-Engil has 10 bridges, one of which is a 600m Bridge – the longest in the line, 11 overhead bridges (over passage), 5 underpasses (1 for cars, finished within 2 days of nonstop work, and a total of 800 workers on the project.

The site Engineer, Luis Mota explained that the project of that magnitude is one of the fastest within 19 months.
Amaechi however demanded that the Kano-Maradi project be faster as it is an EPC, “by now you should have finished your backend engineering and design,” he said. Amaechi further called for a meeting in Abuja in the first week of January to identify all the challenges and ensure that the contractor follows the plan.

At the Nigerian Embassy in Lisbon, the Ambassador, Alex Kefas expressed joy that the country is moving forward. According to him, “I have never seen massive railway projects in Nigeria until he (Amaechi) became Minister. We are grateful he is doing very well. We just finished a meeting with the secretary of internalisation which will help in boosting our bilateral relations. At the bilateral meeting, they assured us of their support in achieving this project (Kano-Maradi).

“I recently paid a courtesy call on Mota-Engil at their Headquarters in Porto and they paid a courtesy call to me here at the embassy. I assured them of speedy visa issuance to ensure that the project in Nigeria is completed speedily,” he said.

Both the Minister and the Ambassador were at the Portuguese foreign ministry for bilateral talks and both nations agreed to be of help to one another. The Portugese Secretary of State for Internalisation affairs, Mr. Eurico Brilhante Dias assured the Minister of Portugal’s support and cooperation to ensure that the project by Mota-Engil is completed without hitches.

GoG, Nigerian waters record first piracy drop in 17yrs

By admin




For the first time in 17years, the Gulf of Guinea and the Nigerian waters recorded the lowest piracy drop, in the first nine months of year 2021.

This was disclosed by a report released this week by the International Maritime Bureau , IMB .

However, at the other end of the scale, one crew member was killed, 51 kidnapped and eight taken hostage

The latest piracy report from IMB revealed that 85 vessels were boarded with nine attempted attacks. Also, two vessels were shot at and one hijacked.

A breakdown of piracy incidents showed that the Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of and armed robbery between January and September 2021, as against 46 recorded for the same period in 2020.
Notably, Nigeria reported only four, compared to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018. Crew kidnappings in the region dropped with a crew member kidnapped in the period under review, as against 31 in five separate incidents during the same quarter in the preceding year.

“All 2021 quarter three incidents were against vessels at port anchorages and the average successful kidnapping location was 100 nautical miles from land.

“The overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region bears testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities,” IMB stated

The IMB statement however, made no mention of piracy incidents such as kidnappings, violence against crew or hijackings on the east coast of the continent off Somalia including the Horn of Africa.
But going further east, it noted 20 armed robbery incidents in the Singapore Straits, the highest since last year and four up ,on the 2019 number.

It described the attacks as low level and opportunistic in nature , noting that perpetrators posed a direct threat to seafarers and vessels underway.

Furthermore it stated that in four incidents, crew were threatened, assaulted or injured.
“There was also a noticeable reduction in incidents reported from Indonesian waters. The six reported in the first nine months of this year is the lowest in Indonesian water since 1993”, it stated..

FG budgets N75bn for repairs this yelutude season

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Federal Government announced that it will commit N75,765,087,178.28 to carry out rehabilitation works on collapsed portions of roads in Nigeria this yelutide season

The Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Folorunso Esan, in Abuja at the meeting of stakeholders in the transport sector to plan and prepare for making the roads motorable and ensuring the safety of lives on the country’s highways.

He stated that the rehabilitation is to improve ease of travel for Nigerians during the yuletide seasons.

Mr Esan revealed that “The rainy season has affected many sections of the road across the country, hence the need for urgent palliative works to avoid further deterioration.

“Bad roads have been identified, indicating that the affected roads had been mapped out and contracts for the repairs would be awarded to contractors as part of the preparation for the ember months.

The total cost for the repair works is N75,765,087,178.28.”

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the government is doing all it can to move cargo by rail as it is faster and it makes the roads more durable.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is making efforts to ensure that overloaded trucks no longer ply the nation’s highways.

You may not be aware of this, the government is building the Kano, Lagos and the Abeokuta pipeline and we want to see petrol tankers, timber going on railway and we hope this can relieve pressure on the road.

“I want to appeal to road users, NUPENG, NATO, NURTW and FRSC that we have to work together. Our responsibility is to ensure safety of the road users.

“All the data that we have about the road shows us that most of the accidents on the road are as a result of speed violation.

Fashola added that the Ministry will start restrictions with overloading stating that enforcement will commence from the tollgate in Lagos.

“If your vehicle is overloaded, you will pay fines, so the reason we have done that is that we want to make it cheaper to comply and make it very expensive to break the law,” he said.

He stated that the government hopes people will choose to comply instead of paying excessive penalties.

NRC generates N1.08 bn from passengers in Q2’21- NBS

By Favour Nnabugwu


Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, generated N1.08 billion revenue from passengers in the second quarter of the year 2021 (Q2’21`).

This represents a 237 percent year-on year (YoY) rise in revenue when compared with N320.3 million generated in Q2’20.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, disclosed this today in its Railway Transportation Data Report for Q2’21.

The data also showed that revenue generated from cargo rose YoY by 8.0 percent to N71.6 million in Q2’21 from N66.3 million in Q2’20.

The report stated: “Revenue generated from passengers in Q2’ 21 was put at N1.08 billion as against N892.47 million in Q1’21.

“Similarly, revenue generated from goods/cargo in Q2 2021 was put at N71,555,762 as against N26,195,160 in Q1 2021.

“The rail transportation data for Q2’21 reflected that a total of 565,385 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q2 2021 as against 108,238 passenger recorded in Q2’ 20 and 424,460 in Q1’21 representing 422 percent growth YoY and 33.20 percent QoQ respectively.

“Similarly, a total of 42,782 tons of volume of goods/cargo travelled via the rail system in Q2’21 as against 8,691 recorded in Q2’ 20 and 10,511 in Q1’21 representing 392 per cent growth YoY and 307 per cent QoQ respectively.”

Amaechi inspects proposed site for Bonny Deep Seaport …Construction to commence soon

By admin



Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has inspected the proposed site for construction of the Bonny Deep Seaport.

Amaechi made the visit, Friday in company of the Permanent Secretary, Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Acting MD, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Koko and experts from the Ministry of Transportation, the NPA and the contractors, CCECC.

During the inspection, the Minister noted that in choosing the site, considerations must be made towards cost reduction and ease in paying compensations.

He said while the South East part of the Island was also viable, the most feasible may be the area to the West in Finima, as it would require less dredging.

“The experts have said it will take only 500 metres of dredging at this point to get to 17metres draught which is our target for the depth of the seaport. The moment you reclaim 500metres into the ocean, you get to 17metres draught. You don’t need further dredging. While on the other end, you need 1.16kms dredging to get to the water. It will be more expensive to dredge 1.16km than to build rail line to this place. We can do the cost analysis and come to a decision.

Amaechi also said selection of the area, when finally decided upon would ensure that NNPC pipes would not be tampered with or moved for the rail lines extending to the Seaport to be laid.

“It would also be easier to pay compensations here and take the rail through this area instead of running it through the other end where there are pipes. And compensation would be paid on properties, not on land. If the land is not enough, the Federal Government would acquire more for the expansion,” Amaechi said.

Speaking to newsmen, the MD, NPA, Mohammed Koko said, “what we did today was to reconfirm the right location for the port, although final studies will be made and conclusions reached. The other location had pipes, so we believe that this one will be perfect. It has a natural draft of about 17metres.

“The Port which will have a capacity of about 500,000 TEUs on completion is a necessary infrastructure for Nigeria. Nigeria has over 823 kilometres of coastline and we have always been saying that the idea of building deep seaports will bring more economic value to the country, and Nigeria will eventually become a maritime hub in Africa or the West African sub-region,” he said.

Koko also stated that construction will kick off within the year and run concurrently with the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line which also extends to the Bonny Deep Seaport.

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Rail Gets FECs’ $11.174bn Construction Approval

By admin


Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the award of two contracts to the tune of N6.2 billion and N2.31 billion, respectively, for the construction of two power substations in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom states.

The council approved the acquisition of 20 per cent minority stake by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in Dangote Petroleum and petrochemical refinery in the sum of $2.76 billion. This was as hope for the restoration of the country’s four refineries in less than eight years from now was raised yesterday.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed these at the end of the monthly FEC meeting in Abuja. Sylva also announced the federal government’s approval of $1.484 billion for the rehabilitation of both Warri and Kaduna refineries.

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), failed to meet its gross revenue projections in the first six months of 2021, hitting a huge deficit of N1.106 trillion during the period.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said the meeting approved the memo for the ratification of the president’s approval for the award of the contract for the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard-gauge railway.

The information minister said, “This is a very old project, which we inherited. Under the former administration, an approval was given, but nothing was done, but today, the council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar coastal route.”

According to him, the rail project is important to the nation’s coastal economy, which is why $11.174 billion is earmarked for it with a completion period of six years.

His words: “This particular route is very important because after the Lagos-Kano route, this Lagos-Calabar coastal route, actually will link all the coastal cities in the country.

“The proposed route alignment is to go from Lagos to Shagamu, Shagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenagoa, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, to Obudu Ranch, with a branch line from Benin City to Asaba, Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.”

The minister also stressed that the commitment of the present administration to expanding and consolidating on the rail projects across the country informed FEC’s approval of the funds for work to commence immediately on the Kano-Jibia rail and the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri route.

Speaking also, Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, disclosed that FEC approved two projects for his ministry, including the construction of 2 by 60 MVA 132 33 substation at Gagarawa, Jigawa State, in favour of Messrs Power Control and Appliances Limited in the sum of N154,212,396.05.

“The second one is the award of the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of 2 by 30 MVA 132 33 substation at Ibiono Ibom, Akwa Ibom State in favour of Messrs YEMEC West Africa Limited in the sum of US$6.2 offshore plus N1.8 billion onshore,” he said.

On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba stated, “Today, the Federal Ministry of Education presented two memos. The first one dealt with ratification of convention Nigeria had already acceded to which seeks to regularise the recognition of certificates and diplomats all across Africa.”

The second memo, according to him, dealt with the award of contract for the building of two blocks of social science complexes at Adamawa State University in Mubi for a total sum of N1,103,000,000, which is a TETFUND allocation that emerged from 2017 through 2021.

Rail transportation generates N5.79bn in 2020, Q1 2021

By Favour Nnabugwu



Rail transportation in Nigeria generated N5.79 billion between 2019 and Quarter One of 2021 (Q1, 2021), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

It said this in the “Rail Transportation Data for Q1 2019 – Q1 2021” obtained from its website on Thursday in Abuja, adding that the revenue was generated from passengers, goods/cargo and other incomes.

Giving a breakdown, it said N918.62 million was generated as revenue in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1, 2021) as against N481.57 million generated in Q4, 2020.

Also, revenue generated from passengers in Q1 2021 was put at N892.46, while N398.99 was generated from passengers in Q4 2020, the report said.

It added that revenue generated from goods/cargo in Q1 2021 was put at N26.19 as against N82.57 in Q4 2020.

In 2019, N2.412 billion was generated from passengers, while in 2020, N1.745 billion was generated and in Q1, 2021, N892.46 million was derived.

For goods/cargo, in 2019, N362.88 million was generated; in 2020, the sector derived N281.35 million and in Q1 2021, N26.19 million had been generated.

However, for other receipts, N64.57 million was derived in 2019, N5.18 million in 2020 and N8.062 million in Q1, 2021.

The bureau said that rail transportation data for Q1 2021 reflected that 424,460 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 647,055 passengers recorded in Q1 2020 and 134,817 in Q4 2020.

It said that this represented a -34.40 per cent decline year-on-year (YoY) and +214.84 per cent growth quarter-on quarter (QoQ) respectively.

“Similarly, a total of 10,511 tons of volume of goods/cargo travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 18,484 that used the system in Q1 2020 and 35,736 in Q4 2020 representing -43.13 per cent decline YoY and -70.59 per cent decline QoQ respectively.”

The report said that data for the summation was provided by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), verified and validated by the NBS.

Enugu-Cameroon highway $430m ready before end of 2021 – AfDB

By Favour Nnabugwu


The African Development Bank (AfDB) has stated that the $430 million highway connecting the South East region of Nigeria from Enugu to Bamenda, in South West Cameroon will be finished before the end of the year.

This was made known by the Bank’s President, Akinwunmi Adesina at the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Ghana, citing that the project was part of its $16 billion worth of projects in West Africa alone.

He added that the Enugu-Cameroon highway would improve trade in West Africa, as it is also currently rounding up feasibility studies for an Abidjan-Lagos corridor by the end of 2021.

Buhari inaugurates $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan rail project for full commercial operations


L- Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; President Muhammdau Buhari and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State during the the inauguration of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure at the ENL Terminal,


By Favour Nnabugwu

President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the $1.5 billion 157-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway project for full commercial activities four years after the ground-breaking.

The president, while flagging off the project started in March, 2017 for full commercial operations at the Mobolaji Johnson station in Alagomeji, Ebuta Metta, Lagos, pledged the commitment of his administration to the continuous infrastructural development of the country in Lagos yedterday

He noted that right from the beginning of his administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja-Kaduna railway was flagged off for commercial operation in 2016 to the Lagos-Ibadan railway project being commissioned for full commercial operation.

He added that rail transportation remains a key component of the overall transportation master plan, noting that on completion, the various ongoing rail projects will provide thousands of direct jobs to thousands of Nigerians.

According to the president, the inauguration and flagging off of the project signal yet another milestone in the drive of the present administration in revitalising the railway system, establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight and position it as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country

This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos-Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country,” he said.

He added that in clear recognition of the challenges posed to the country’s economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure, “we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos-Kano railway, which is Ibadan-Kano”.

The Lagos-Kano railway project, when completed, will link the Kano-Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be ,” he said.

Buhari noted that the connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic, stating that it would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.

He further stated that the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance have been directed to vigorously act on engagement and reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the federal government for the development of the Ibadan-Kano railway and the connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.

“This is already yielding the desired result as construction activities on the railway segment, Kaduna-Kano has commenced with back-end engineering activities
will at this juncture, commend the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity to achieve the milestone recorded today.

“He has a wonderful team in the Ministry that is helping in achieving this feat. Well done to you all,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, hinted that the project will be the third rail project commissioned by the president
According to him, “First was the Abuja-Kaduna, Warri-Itekpe and now the Lagos to Ibadan. This is one project started and ended by this present administration.”

Similarly, Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu said the standard gauge rail project is a testament of federal government’s investment in Lagos State, adding that the state is grateful.

“It is indeed a pride to see a project start and end within the life span of an administration. The social and economic importance of this project cannot be over emphasised.

The commissioning of this rail line has made it possible for people to work in Lagos and live in Ibadan,” the governor stated.

Also, the Chairman of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, which handled the project, Mr. Jiang Yigao, said the company has been in Nigeria for 40 years and this is one of the biggest projects it has handled.

The Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) board, Mr. Alhassan Musa Ibrahim, said the project encountered a lot of challenges but the persistence of the government ensured its conclusion.
According to him, “The Nigerian Railway Modernization Project, Lagos-Ibadan section with extension to Lagos Port at Apapa starts from Lagos, the largest Port City in Nigeria, and runs north-eastward through Abeokuta to an industrial city Ibadan.”

The length of the main line is 156.8 km with 6.51km extension to Apapa Port. It connects three important states in the South-west region namely Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States.

The project adopts China Railway Standard, with a designed speed of 150 Km/h. It is a double-track standard gauge railway, using diesel traction and automatic blocking system

There are 21 large and medium sized bridges, with a total length of 6.08 km, 12 frames bridges, 256 culverts, 25 overpasses and 10 stations in the project. The track-laying covers a total length of 380.03 km.

The project will improve the Nigerian transport infrastructure and enhance better layout of the national railway network.

It will facilitate better interstate connection in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States respectively, accelerate industrialization and urbanization of regions along the line and foster integrated economic development.
The operation of the rail line will facilitate mass movement of passengers, reduce the traffic pressure on the road, lower the rate of road accidents and promote safety of travellers.

The completion of the project will also enhance decongestion of Lagos Sea Port and increase the throughput capacity for better development of the port with positive influence on the Lagos region

I was removed over observations in financial records- Ex-NPA board member

By Favour Nnabugwu


Former Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Board member, Senator Binta Masi Garba yesterday recounted how she was removed for raising observations over the agency’s financial records.

She alleged that her observations did not go down well with the suspended NPA Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman.

She alleged that Ms. Bala-Usman decided her removal from the board without the knowledge or recommendation of Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi.

The senator said she met a senior official in the Presidential Villa and advised that the suspended MD be called to order.

In a statement she issued in Abuja yesterday, the senator said suspension of the MD has vindicated him.

She said: “I was appointed into the board of the NPA sometime in March 2020. In January 2021, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe and I were removed from the board and our removal was clearly orchestrated by the now suspended Managing Director (MD) of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman.

“Before my removal, I was not comfortable with the way the board and authority were run. I consistently expressed my discomfort and displeasure with the way the MD was running the place and this, I have no iota of doubt in my mind made her to orchestrate my removal from the board.

“Note, I was removed without the knowledge of the supervising ministry/minister of Transportation, which was very uncommon.

“My observations and complaints with the suspended NPA MD were more with the financial statements of NPA and I worried that if she continued so, there would certainly be trouble and her sudden removal (suspension) would be inevitable.

”I noted discrepancies, I raised observations, I asked questions, but I was completely ignored and disregarded. Answers were never provided, until my removal was plotted.”

Narrating the genesis of the crisis of confidence between her and the suspended NPA boss, she said: “When the board came in, its first meeting was in June 2020 with the aim of deliberating on the financial report. I made some observations on the report which, obviously, the MD, Hadiza Bala-Usman was not comfortable with.

“At the time, the report covered two years but I objected, pointing out that, under normal circumstances, procedurally and international norms, it should cover a minimum of three years. It was after my objection that the MD grudgingly and resentfully provided the third year’s report. I wasn’t really comfortable.

“I observed more discrepancies with the financials and asked questions about them. The MD was uncomfortable and even felt slighted by the objective comments and questions.

”Scrutinizing the financial reports of the NPA is a very critical and very important aspect of my role and function as a member of its board, appointed by the President. I was not ready to abdicate that core responsibility.

“For me, my board membership of NPA, like every other public office I have held, was a call to serve my country and I was prepared to give it my all.

“But the suspended MD felt offended by my observations, questions, spotting obvious inconsistencies and acted like someone with a lot to hide. Answers were not forthcoming and, when they did, were less than satisfactory.”

Senator Masi said at a point, she contemplated resigning from the board but she was prevailed upon not to disrespect President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said: ”Some members of the board felt I was the only one holding the financial report back. I had to meet with the Minister of Transportation and I told him I wasn’t comfortable with the way and manner the board was being handled and treated by the MD and that I wanted to resign.

”The board chairman, Chief Akin Ricketts (whose removal as board chairman was also orchestrated by the MD) and some other members, prevailed on me not to resign and that, if I did, it would send the wrong signal and would not be good for the President. We settled down to work on it (the financial reports).

”After sometime, my uneasiness did not go away. Again, I met with the Minister of Transportation and told him that I did not want to continue with the board with the way the MD was running the place.”

The senator claimed she took her case to the Presidential Villa but Ms. Bala-Usman.

She said: “I met someone high up in the Presidential Villa and told him my own story and advised that the MD be called to order. I also met and made similar observations and complaints to the then Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr. Nasiru and the then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Mallam Zakari.

“Instead of making amends, the suspended MD’s next move was to go against the NPA Act by designing my removal from the board.

“The Act stipulates that it is the minister who should send names of appointees to the board to the President for approval. For someone to unilaterally go against the Act and the minister that brought her on board was rather unfortunate.

“I made it very clear to everyone I spoke with about the situation in NPA, stressing that it was not about me but the system, rules and procedures, as well as the survival of our institutions.

“I could not keep quiet and watch the suspended MD run the NPA aground. I wished she had listened but she didn’t and opted to plot my removal from the board. Unfortunately, I have been vindicated.”