Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has shrugged off allegations that it ensured all its general managers hailed from the northern part of the country as “unfounded and riddled with untruth”.
Making this denial in Lagos on Wednesday via a statement, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA Adams Jatto, said the appointment and promotion of general managers and assistant general managers are routinely guided by vacancy, exigencies, seniority and competence.
He added that such exercises are carried out through strict application of Federal Character Principle in order to ensure equity and even distribution of positions in the organisation.
“General managers are usually appointed from the pool of Assistant General Managers who will 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 managers cadre, they have higher representation in the two other most senior roles of assistant general manager and principal managers,” he said.
Jatto presented the numbers of the general managers, assistant general managers and principal managers, as follows: North-central 3, 6 and 36, respectively, totalling 45; Northeast, 7, 10 and 27 respectively, totalling 44.
He added that Northwest has 5, 3 and 26, totalling 34; Southeast – 4, 10 and 36, totalling 50; South-south – 1, 10 and 43, totalling 54; and Southwest- 2, 13 and 60, totalling 75.
He also said that the total number of general managers was 22; assistant general managers 52, and principal managers 228, all totalling 302.
Jatto urged stakeholders and the general public to note that while the general manager, finance was from the Southeast, the NPA has no offices of general manager, seaview and general manager accounts, as was being circulated.
He also denied that some retired general managers had their tenures extended on contract in order to stop their “potential successors” from getting promoted.
“The two cases that were mentioned, General Manager, Human Resources Yahaya Bukar (Aug. 2018 – Aug 2020) and General Manager, Engineering, Engr Ahmed Rufai Mohammed (Feb 2020 – 2021) had their tenures legally extended.
“This is 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 Simeon Aniobi, whose tenure was extended between Oct 2017 and October 2019,” he said.
He emphasised that the NPA management was always guided by principles of fairness, equity and laws of the country in all its operations.