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NPA: Hajia Usman Opens Up On The Cost Of Rehabilitating Burnt Building By Hoodlums In The Guise Of End SARS Protest

By Suleiman Umaru

Barely two months after the END SARS Protest which was hijacked by hoodlums and wrecked havoc on the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Corporate Headquarters at Marina, Lagos,  Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, the Authority  Managing Director  who had refused to  be dragged into any discussion  on the cost  implication rehabilitating the burnt building , vehicles and replacing looted items  has finally opened up.

Hajia Usman  may have taken advantage of the maritime agency  2021 budget defence session  before  the Senate Committee on Maritime in the National Assembly  to open up in order to win the support of  the  Committee members to factor in the amount to the budgetary allocations to the Federal ministry of Transport agency in the 2021 Fiscal year.

Given an insider information  of what the loss the agency had incurred  after the hoodlums  attacked its Corporate Head office in Marina, in the aftermath of the ENDSARS protest which rocked the country last October, she had  told the Senate Maritime Committee members that  N807 million  would be needed to rehabilitate  the burnt portion  of the agency Corporate Office buildings  and looted  items. The  NPA  boss was said to have attached the bill of quantity from the Consortium of Insurance Companies who were on ground to assess the level of  damage.

Hajia Hadiza Usman: MD, NPA

 Insiders told Value News that the amount quoted by the Managing Director that would be required for the rehabilitation of the burnt buildings by hoodlums  could  have run into a billion naira and above  if the Authority had added the cost implications of the 27 vehicles  including  Corporate buses that were burnt by the hoodlums and the two other vehicles that were stolen, as one of the vehicle , which could have added it up to three,  was recovered by the Navy .

The NPA Managing Director, may have alluded to this when she said that the N807 million needed to rehabilitate the burnt  portion of the agency Corporate office  buildings burnt by the hoodlums was different  from the amount  that would be spent  to replace  the 27 vehicles , which also include  the Corporates Staff buses  used in carrying VIPs  on an official assignment in the agency including the two others vehicles that was   stolen which had not been recovered.

The agency may have been silent on the  insurance policy. This because  the insurance Companies engaged by the agency  had been occupied since late October, 2020,  to ascertain  the level of damage  on the NPA Corporate building and the items looted in order to come out with a figure that would be agreeable by  both parties for the rehabilitation of the building and, vehicles and looted items.

 It is instructive to note that that the Authority  had engaged a Consortium of  insurance Companies who were said to have been working with relevant units of the agency  to ascertain  the extent  of the  damage  caused as a result of the hoodlums attack. Note that  NPA, has a Comprehensive insurance policy  on its Corporate Head office, which insiders said covers  both ‘’fire and theft’’.

The Authority may have known that as a big  maritime Organisation thing of this nature might occur one day that it had  established  in 1990 , the NPA  Insurance Brooking Group, with Head office in the  United Kingdom, UK.  The Insurance Broking firm, was said to have been acquired by  Integro  Insurance  Brokers in 2015, with offices in over 125 countries in the world and rated as one of the top 20   as a Loyd’ market and insurance  broker.  Its annual revenue is put at about $200 million.

The Authority may not be looking up to its own Foreign floated  insurance Broking firm, which had been acquired by Integro,  but on the Consortium of insurance Companies  to take up the responsibility of rehabilitating the  burnt buildings vehicles and replacing the  looted equipment.

 The big -time insurance Companies, according to Adams Jatto, a one- time General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the agency who may not  have looked  at the  cost implication of rehabilitating the Authority burnt building , replacement of vehicles or looted equipment  had said that the Companies which   may have  invested the premium which the Organisation had paid to them have no cause to worry. This may have informed  why the Authority has fallen back  on them to pay Compensation.

‘’We are going through  the process of insurance claims  to see what portion  of the insurance  would be made available by the Consortium of insurance Companies’’, Hajia Usman, was said to have told the National Assembly  Maritime Committee  members. She is optimistic  that the Consortium of insurance Companies  would not disappoint the Authority  because  ‘’it has always met with its  insurance obligations’’.

Recall that the National Assembly  Maritime Committee members, Comprising of the Senate and the House,  who had visited the Authority to see things themselves and assess  the extent of the damage  that was done on the NPA buildings and other  items, instead of believing what they read in Newspapers, online publications or watch on Televisions, had promised to support  the Authority in ensuring  that the damaged  parts of the Corporate Head office  and all other assets that were torched by the hoodlums  are  rebuilt and replaced.

  Garba Datti, who was said to have led the National Assembly   Joint Committees to NPA, may have gladden the heart of Hajia and her Management Team, when he disclosed  their closed door discussion with the Authority. ‘’As part of our discussion with  the Management,the Lawmakers  have asked the  Hajia Usman led NPA , to bring its revised  budget  that would accommodate  the rebuilding of the burnt building  , vehicles and replacement of looted items to the National Assembly  in order to guide them in their decision.

The lawmakers believe that though  the agency critical infrastructures  such as the buildings and the  vehicles are insured, the Consortium of insurance Companies engaged by the agency may not be able to bear the entire cost of the repair alone and this is where the government has to come in. As agreed with the Joint maritime Committee members of the National Assembly,to revise its budged to accommodate the reconstruction of the building and replacement of looted items, excluding the 27 vehicles burnt and two stolen, the Committee members have no option but to keep to their promise.          

Despite making a case before the National Assembly joint  Committee to factor in the cost of rehabilitating the burnt Corporate building by hoodlums in the guise of END SARS  protest, Rotimi Amaechi,  a former governor of Rivers state and now minister of Federal ministry of Transportation  who visited the Authority after one month of the incident  to cover up for his action had urged  the agency to approach the Federal Executive Council, FEC,  FOR Funds for reconstruction of the building.

Hear him: I have made my decisions  that the  NPA, Managing Director  should come  to the FEC, and ask for the reconstruction of the burnt building, depending  on integrity’’, noting ‘’we don’t want to expose  life again’’.     

Stephen Ubanna

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