Connect with us

News and Report




The Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi failed to mention the allegation of unremitted N165 billion levelled against the suspended Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, between 2016 and 2020, to the federal government, a document detailing the query and responses on the matter has shown.
The document sighted by from Ministry of Transportation sources indicated that rather, Amaechi, in the 20-point query issued to Usman, accused her of granting waivers to billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, issuing exemptions to Neconde and bypassing him to communicate directly with the presidency.
But in a point-by-point response to the query, sent to the permanent secretary in the ministry of transport, copied the chairman, governing board, NPA, dated February 4, Bala-Usman explained that she remained innocent of all the accusations.Several reports had alleged the non-remittance of N165.3 billion “operating surpluses” to the Federation Account by the NPA under Usman, a development that led to her suspension.

Amaechi, it was gathered, had thereafter written a memo to the president, recommending a ministerial investigation of the activities of the NPA under her. The administrative panel has since submitted its report.

But despite the much-talked-about N165 billion, the document mentioned waiver, rebates and tariffs granted by NPA without requisite approval in the query, accusing Bala-Usman of acting beyond her authority as MD/CEO of the NPA in taking and or approving the action.

“In 2019, you unilaterally granted a waiver to Dangote Cement Plc on applicable tariff for export of cement/clinker based on the company’s projections to export up to 5 million metric tons annually.

“The said waiver was discriminatory in nature as it was applicable to only one company operating in the sector and there was no justification as to why a selective approach was adopted,” the query read.

By virtue of another letter ref No: HQ/ED/M&OP/191 dated 23 March 2021, it stated that NPA clarified to Dangote Cement that the 2019, approval was actually meant to be applicable strictly to the export of clinker and not inclusive of cement.

By in another memo dated March, 31, 2021, the document had stated that the NPA decided to extend the waiver granted to Dangote to all companies in involved in the export of clinker, raising suspicion.

But in her response, Bala-Usman stated that the approval she granted for the reduction in applicable tariffs for the export of clinker was from the beginning granted to all exporters of clinker as contained in the directive noted in the memo dated June 18, 2019.

She added that she “minuted” the executive director, marine and operations to implement the recommendation for all clinker exports, stressing that based on the above, it was evident that there was no discrimination or selective approach in granting the waiver as all companies operating in the sector were granted the waiver.

Usman averred that the reason for the subsequent directive in March 2021 was because she noticed in a memo dated February 5, 2021, that the marine operations directorate had not acted in line with her directive which stated that the reduction in tariff was applicable to all the clinker export.

“ I therefore ‘minuted’ the following to the general manager, tariff and billing. The approval was for all clinker export to all companies,” she explained.

Another point of contention, according to the document, was that pursuant to a request by Neconde Energy Limited, Bala-Usman authorised vide letter dated February 28, 2019, granting an exemption to the company from the payment of cargo dues from vessels conveying waste waters derived from OML 42 to designated disposal zones.

But in her defence, Usman stated that the approval granted to Neconde Energy Ltd was based on a request made by the company stating that oil producing operations of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company(NPDC) in partnership with the company at the facility, produced wastewater which was required to discharge at offshore.

“This operation of the movement of vessels to dispose wastewater at the designated locations are non-revenue generating, hence the ship dues for these non-economic cargo being at par with economic revenue generating vessels movements was considered unjustified.

“Hence, I granted the approval for the waiver to enable them effectively discharge the wastewater in line with Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) guidelines,” she pointed out.

In addition, Amaechi accused Bala-Usman of unilaterally granting a waiver without recourse to the Executive Management Committee (EMC) and or board of the NPA to Messrs Port & Terminal Operators Nigeria (PTOL) in respect of its outstanding indebtedness to the NPA in the sum of $100,985,846.83 as at September 2019.

He stated that the suspended MD further granted a waiver to enable the company pay 25 per cent of its contractual lease fees to the NPA, thereby leading to the loss of significant revenues to the federal government.

However, Bala-Usman said she did not unilaterally grant a waiver/downward review of 25 per cent and the lease fee to PTOL, but only implemented the approval/no objection granted by the ministry on the waiver/downward review of the 25 per cent on the lease fee as conveyed via letter dated June 11, 2015 with ref. T.3999/5.39/C.12/T1/366.

“Hence, I have not committed an act of misappropriation but only approved the implementation of a directive given by the Federal Ministry of Transportation. I am not aware of approving any waiver of the debt of $100,985,846.83, as at September 2019 to PTOL. Hence, I did not commit any act of misappropriation,” she added.

The document stated that in granting the waivers and rebate to the commercial entities, which led to substantial loss of government revenue, Bala-Usman did not make any recourse to nor seek the approval of the minister of transportation as well as finance, budget and national planning respectively.

In her response, Bala-Usman noted that she did not grant any waivers that will constitute a substantial loss of revenue to the government.

News and Report





Nigerian Access Bank has been very outspoken about strengthening ties with France, but has not yet made much progress.

On the 10th floor of the Access Tower on Victoria Island in Lagos, the only sign that Access Bank has what it calls a “French Desk” is a tiny French flag in a corner. It has been nearly four months since the bank’s main shareholder and non-executive director, Herbert Wigwe, opened the Desk, but it has not yet done anything.

The Desk has been set up to help French companies work in Nigeria and vice versa. To this end, a partnership with the Business France office in Lagos is currently being finalised. However, its efforts will first focus on Ghana. Access Bank’s branch in Accra handles accounts for several major French companies, including TotalEnergies and the consultancy Mazars.

Presence in Paris

In May, Minister Delegate for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships Chrysoula Zacharopoulou attended the inauguration of the new French Desk, intended to mark a new step forward in Access Bank’s French strategy. Two weeks before, on 15 May, Wigwe became chairman of the French-Nigeria Business Council, replacing Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA and then inaugurated a Paris branch at the Petit Palais with French Foreign Trade Minister Olivier Becht in attendance

Like the French Desk in Lagos, the Paris office, a branch of Access Bank’s London and run by Justin Maria, cannot do much. It currently cannot open an account for any clients, discussions are still on going with the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority.


Westward bound

The Paris branch of Access Bank and the French Desk in Lagos, which will also benefit from an office in Paris in the coming months, indicate its interest in the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The Nigerian bank acquired Standard Chartered Bank’s assets in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, and now intends to break into the markets in Senegal and Ivory Coast.


  • The Capital

Continue Reading

News and Report

Businesses to enjoy more value with Glo Prime




A new offer, Glo Prime, has been unveiled by Digital and telecommunications solutions provider, Globacom. It comes with a portfolio of call and data package aimed at aiding the growth of businesses by keeping them connected at all times and ensuring they get more value for the money they spend on the network.


The product, according to a Globacom statement, comes in four different plans with each of them delivering immense value to the businesses and other customers. The plans includeN1,500, N3,000, N5,000 and N10,000 packages.


Customer who chose Prime N1,500 pack will get 45 minutes of calls and  4GB of data, while those who prefer the Prime N3,000 plan will enjoy 100 minutes of calls and 12GB of data. Those who opt for Prime N5,000 pack will get 300 minutes of calls and 25GB data while 750 minutes of calls and a whopping 60GB of data await customers who pick the N10,000 pack.


Globacom stated that, “In a highly dynamic environment, there is  need for constant innovation to offer more value to our new and existing customers. The Glo Prime is, therefore, a portfolio of new plans designed to surpass similar products in the market in terms of flexibility, ease of use and value”.


It added that the introduction of Glo Prime reinforces the company’s position as a provider of the most competitive Voice and Data solutions for high value customers, both individuals and corporates.


The company, which marked its 20th anniversary in August, recently received two awards at the Consumer Value Awards and picked up another two at the prestigious Marketing Edge Annual Brand and Advertising Awards, lending credence to its  commitment to excellent service delivery and innovative offering to subscribers.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Court halts Aiyedatiwa’s impeachment, kinsmen hold solidarity protest




The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, restrained the Ondo State House of Assembly from impeaching the Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct.

Justice Emeka Nwite gave the restraining order in a ruling shortly after Aiyedatiwa’s counsel, Kayode Adewusi, moved an ex parte motion to the effect.

The judge also restrained Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy governor and forwarding the same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.

Justice Nwite held that after listening to Adewusi, he was of the view that the interest of justice would be met by granting the application.

“Therefore, the application of the applicant succeeds,” he held.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the embattled deputy governor had, in a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023, sued the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services.

Others joined in the suit are Akeredoku, Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Chief Judge of Ondo State, and the House of Assembly as 1st to 6th respondents, respectively.

In the application filed by Mr Adelanke Akinrata on September 21, Aiyedatiwa sought four reliefs.

Justice Nwite, who granted all the reliefs, adjourned the matter until October 9 for hearing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of indigenes of Ilaje community in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Tuesday, stormed Akure, the state capital, to protest against the ongoing impeachment process against Aiyedatiwa.

Aiyedatiwa, who is also an Ilaje man, had been served the impeachment notice by the state House of Assembly and was expected to respond to all the allegations in the notice.

The protesters, who gathered in front of the entrance of the Assembly gate with leaves in their hands, chanted various solidarity songs to express their support for the embattled deputy governor.

Some of them carried placards with inscriptions such as “Justice for Lucky, Lucky is innocent”; “Stop accusing him wrongly”; “Ilaje Nation stands with Aiyedatiwa”; “Aketi, Lucky is not your enemy,” and “Let Lucky finish his term,” among several others.

The protesters alleged that the impeachment proceedings were a plot to take Aiyedatiwa out of the race of the 2024 governorship election in the state.

Speaking on the development, one of the leaders of the protesters and Founder of the Ilaje World Congress, Mr Ola Juda, declared that the indigenes of Ilaje would not tolerate the impeachment move against Aiyedatiwa.

He said, “This gathering is the gathering of sons and daughters of Ilaje land; not only Ilaje, but we also have other sympathisers from Akure and Ese-Odo Idanre axis that have come together to protest against injustice and the battle that is going to erupt in Ondo State. The peace of Ondo State is being threatened by the actions of the Ondo State House of Assembly.

“For the past decades, an Ilaje man has never been a deputy governor but for the first time, we have a deputy governor, and yet powers that be have vowed that he will not finish his tenure. Aketi/Lucky mandate was given to both of them and if Aketi is still the governor of Ondo State, our mandate as the deputy governor remains.”

However, no member of the House came out to address the protesters.

The Akure Area Commander of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Nzota Chidi, who addressed the protesters, advised them to be peaceful in order not to be infiltrated by miscreants.

In a related development, some former members of the Ondo State House of Assembly have condemned the process taken by the state Assembly to impeach the deputy governor.

The former lawmakers, under the auspices of the Concerned All Progressives Congress’ Ex-Lawmakers in Ondo State, said it was too early for the members of the 10th Assembly to take the issue of impeachment as a major priority at the expense of various challenges facing the state in recent times.

Speaking in Akure on Tuesday on behalf of others, a former lawmaker, Mr Abiodun Jerome, urged the state Assembly to play the game according to the rules, warning them against causing chaos in the state.

Jerome said, “Our intention is purely advisory. May we remind you, dear honourables (lawmakers) that Chapter 5 Part 2 and Section 90 to 129 of the Nigerian Constitution is very clear on the establishment of the House of Assembly and its functions.

“The present House of Assembly is less than four months old, and it’s very unfortunate that impeachment proceeding is their priority amongst the myriads of critical issues confronting our state presently.

“As former lawmakers, we have the responsibility to point attention to all forms of abnormalities we observe so that the general public is not misled. Although we could have ordinarily ignored the shenanigans of the orchestrators of the dastardly act, we are compelled by the trust once held by us with the political responsibilities as representatives of our various constituencies.”

Similarly, a political organisation under the aegis of Ondo State Consciousness Movement, on Tuesday, warned members of the Ondo State House of Assembly against being used as a political tool in the hands of the executive to achieve a predetermined objective.

The chairman of OCM, Shalom Olaseni, in a statement, said that the legislature should not allow its hallowed chambers to be tainted with political witch-hunts or targeted vendettas as being rumoured in various quarters in the state.

He said, “The alleged discord between the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who recently returned from a protracted sick leave abroad, and the deputy governor, stemming from the deputy governor’s alleged gubernatorial ambitions, should not be allowed to overshadow the pursuit of justice and adherence to constitutional principles.”


Continue Reading