The nonchalant attitude exhibited by public office holders when carrying out managerial functions in various positions has in recent times increased exponentially and now seen to be a norm. Sadly this practice appears to be prevalent in most government-owned agencies. This ugly trend is synonymous to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) under the leadership of Hadiza Bala Usman who like a blind bat has shown negligence to the alarming rate of fraudulent and unethical activities ports across the country is known for.
Information made available to us reveal that Hadiza Bala Usman who was appointed in 2016 by President Buhari to head the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) upon resumption allegedly increased clearance fees placed on goods entering the port thereby creating a conducive environment for thugs and miscreants who parade as Task Force teams to extort and in some cases rob unsuspecting businessmen of their merchandise. Investigations reveal that as at early this year, the stipulated charge for the clearance of goods at the Port as approved by the Authorities was N30,000, however, most of the Task Force personnel who seems to be addicted to extortion allegedly collects between N90, 000 to N100,000 from businessmen before they are allowed access to their goods.
According to a businessman who narrated his ordeal at the hands of the callous Task Force team who coerced him into paying N90,000 before he could be allowed to move his goods from Sifax ijora down to Area B, this underserved daily extortion by the Task Force officials ensures that each of them goes home with at least N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) per week which has made the practice to almost become a norm.
Another businessman also lamented that the Port in Lagos which was once adored for its efficiency and serenity has now become a monster as cars and valuable items are allegedly constantly looted. This heinous crime he alleged are mostly carried out by the team of Task Force officials at Tin Can Island as though it is a no man`s land. It was also gathered that the Ports in Warri, Calabar and Rivers States are not spared from these nefarious activities as information gathered by this online news medium also reveals that Task Force officials who are known for showing no respect for the law, live like Demigods and carry out illegal activities with impunity perhaps because they grease the palms of the “Ogas at the top” and security agents who are supposed to act as supervisory agents. Just like birds of same feathers, there are speculations that the cold feet grown by Hadiza towards ensuring that the perpetrators of these illegal activities rampaging the Nigeria Ports Authority face the full wrath of the law is due to the fact that she has a lion share in the extortion galore.