As NIWA partners agency on goods evacuation
By Henry Umoru
THE Senate was told yesterday that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, incurred more than a billion Naira loss to vandalism during the recently ended #EndSARS protests in the country when some angry youths called for the disbarment of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when she appeared before Senator Danjuma Goje, All Progressives Congress, APC, Gombe Central led Senate Committee on Marine Transport to defend the 2021 budget, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman said that the sum of N807million had been earmarked for rehabilitation of the burnt portion of the agency’s building.
According to her, this different from monies to be spent on the replacement of 27 vehicles set ablaze by the vandals and three outrightly stolen.
Hadiza Bala Usman who was answering questions on losses suffered by NPA from the act of vandalism inflicted on it by irate youths and looters during the #EndSARS Protests, said, “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 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 the rehabilitation of the burnt building ”
The NPA boss however assured the committee that the agency, based on the ongoing arrangement with the Lagos State Government and NIWA, is coming up with a lasting solution to Trucks gridlock on roads leading to the ports in Lagos, adding that an electronic call-up system has been put in place for Trucks accessing the ports for the evacuation of goods.
She said, “Trucks Park has been established in Orile which is to serve as call up centre for any truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
“Besides this arrangement, ultra-modern Rail line leading to Apapa port! and water transportation being offered by NIWA, are also helping out.”
Meanwhile, the National Inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA) has declared its readiness to partner with NPA on goods evacuation from the ports as a way of solving the problem of Truck gridlock on roads leading to ports.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during budget defence, the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu informed the 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.
According to him, out of the N3.9billion budget estimates, 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 session, the Chairman of the Committee Senator Danjuma Goje who told the agencies to scale up their projected revenues drive in 2021 for easy Implementation of the entire budget, said, ” Be rest assured that this committee shall through its oversight functions, monitor your revenues drive in 2021 as well as remittance into the CRF.”