Contrary to the allegation of lop-sided appointments in the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), official records from the agency have shown that with a total of 302 managerial positions in the authority,179 positions are headed by workers from southern part of Nigeria, leaving the north with 123 managers.
The management of the authority has however reiterated its commitment to the principles of the Federal Character, stating that it is guided by fairness, equity and the law of the country in all its operations.
In a press statement on Tuesday, NPA described the allegation as unfounded and untrue,stating that theappointment and promotion of General Managers and Assistant General Managers are routinely guided byvacancy, exigencies, seniority, competence and strict application of Federal Character Principle in order to ensure equity and even distribution of positions in the organization.
An online news medium in its report had accused the Hadiza Bala-Usman led management of NPA of appointing 17 General Managers in favour of the north as against six from the south out of a total of 23 GM positions, insinuating breach of the Federal Character Principle, ethnicism and religious consideration as basis for appointment in the organisation.
According to the statement signed by the authority’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Engr. Jatto Adams, “General Managers are usually appointed from the pool of Assistant General Managers who would ordinarily have been in the service of the Authority for long enough to have acquired significant experience in every aspect of the NPA’s operations.
“Records at the moment, show that while some zones may have fewer representation in General Manager cadre, they have higher representation in the two other most senior roles of Assistant General Manager and Principal Managers,”the statement added.
A breakdown of the records maintains that the southern part of Nigeria is leading in managerial positions with 179 appointments against 123 from the north.
The geo-political representation of data shows that the south west is leading with 75 positions, followed by south south which has 54 managerial positions; and south east coming third place with 50 positions.
Meanwhile, north central has 45 positions; north east, 44 and north west, 34.
NPA further explained that of the total 228 Principal Managers, south west dominates the ladder with 60 positions; south south, 43; south east, 36, while north central leads the northern table with36 positions; north east, 27 and north west,26.
On the Assistant General Manager(AGM) cadre, the south west leads with13 positions; south south,10; south east,10 while the north east leads the northern chart with 10; north central,6 and north west, 3 positions.
The General Manager cadre sees the north east leading with 7 positions, followed by north west,5; north central 3 as south east tops the table of the southern plank with 4 positions; south west,2 and south south,1 position.
Alerting stakeholders and the general public to note that while the General Manager, Finance is from the South East, the offices of General Manager, Seaview and General Manager Accounts do not exist, contrary to the reports being circulated, asserting also that the allegations that some retired General Managers have had their tenures extended on contract in order to stop their “potential successors” from succeeding them, is totally untrue.
According to the statement, ”the two cases that were mentioned:GeneralManager, Human Resources, Mr. Yahaya Bukar (Aug.2018-Aug 2020)and General Manager, Engineering, Engr Ahmed Rufai Mohammed( Feb 2020-2021) had their tenures legally extended for the specific reason of the completion of some of the very important projects that were started within the period of their services as General Managers. This situation also applied to the immediate past General Manager, Finance, Mr Simeon Aniobi, whose tenure was extended between Oct 2017 and October 2019”.