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Hadiza Bala Usman: My book was necessary to prove I did not loot NPA

Hadiza Bala Usman: My book was necessary to prove I did not loot NPA
April 30
09:50 2023

Hadiza Bala Usman, former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says she authored a book to address rumours that she looted the agency.

The book, titled ‘Stepping on Toes: My Odyssey at the Nigerian Ports Authority’, details her experience and the opposition she faced at the NPA up until her removal from office.

Bala Usman was suspended as NPA’s managing director in 2021, and eventually replaced by Mohammed Bello-Koko in 2022.

Her suspension was recommended by Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation, who alleged that the agency, under her watch, failed to remit N165 billion operating surplus to the coffers of the federal government.


However, she was exonerated by an administrative panel of inquiry set up to investigate the alleged mismanagement.

Speaking at her book reading in Abuja on Saturday, Bala Usman said she anticipated that she would face criticism following the release of her version of events.

“When you call out big people that have networks, automatically know that you will always come under verbal attacks everywhere,” she said, adding that she went ahead “as a token of the spirit to always render account with which I was raised”.


“So, I decided that I had to tell that story rather than keep quiet and be fingered as the person who looted the NPA,” she added.

“I’m not one that is easily intimidated or easily bullied by an office. If you occupy an office, you earn my respect in terms of what value you bring.”

Bala Usman, who was the first female MD of the NPA, said she often avoided being compromised.

She faulted government officials for not being transparent with their activities in office, adding that the secrecy in governance enables them to get away with trespasses.


“What it felt like for me was just a job, it didn’t feel like a gender or a first female thing so I folded my sleeves and went to work,” the former MD said.

“Going in there, you would try to be compromised, but you have to pick what your opportunity cost is.”

Bala Usman added that transparency in governance will make government officials understand “that you can’t get away with impunity”.


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