Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, disclosed in Abuja that the revenue generating agency lost over a billion naira to vandalism during the recently ended #EndSARS protests by youths in the country.
This is even as she said that the sum of N807million had been earmarked for the rehabilitation of the burnt portion of the agency’s building at Apapa, Lagos.
Usman, who spoke during the 2021 budget defence session before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central), listed other properties either damaged or looted by the vandals to include operational vehicles, computers, photocopy machines, etc.
The managing director, while answering questions on the losses, said 27 vehicles were set ablaze and three out-rightly stolen by the irate youths when they attacked the agency.
She 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 rehabilitation of the burnt building.”
She, however, assured the committee that the agency, based on ongoing arrangement with the Lagos State Government and National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, is coming up with a lasting solution to truck gridlock on roads leading to the ports in Lagos.
According to Usman, an electronic call up system has been put in place for trucks accessing the ports for evacuation of goods.
“Trucks Park has been established in Orile which is to serve as a call up centre for any truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
“Besides this arrangement, ultra-modern rail lines leading to Apapa Port and water transportation being offered by NIWA, are also helping out,” she added.
Also at the budget defence session, NIWA 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.
Its Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu informed the committee that the N3.9billlion budget estimates proposed for the agency in 2021 fiscal year will be primarily implemented towards up scaling the development of inland water transportation in the country.
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 session, Senator Goje told the agencies to scale up their projected revenues in 2021 for easy Implementation of the entire budget.
“Be rest assured that this committee shall through its oversight functions, monitor your revenues drive in 2021 as well as remittance into the CRF,” the committee chairman said.
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