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NPA: Suleiman’s removal shocks stakeholders
Calls came from every where. Most operators wanted to know if it was true or not, as the information came as a shock. Several industry stakeholders could not believe it for two major reasons: firstly, the removed Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Omar Suleiman, was doing very well. Secondly, he was yet to spend up to 20 months in office.
Adamawa State born, Suleiman, was replaced by a Kano born Habibu Abdullahi, who was formerly the Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
Some shocked staff who also spoke ‘mournfully’ on condition that their names are not mentioned equally said they felt that whatever happened to Omar Suleiman, had also further retarded the expected promotion of the staff.
”This development is saddening. Government has decided to play politics with an operational parastatal, like the NPA, while preaching a phoney transformation agenda. Ibaka (deep sea port) is on-going. Badagry is on the drawing table, being strenuously pursued by highly experienced officers.
“Then suddenly you remove experienced hands and introduce politicians in their stead. Is that not what the government is doing presently? Should the same government expect the same laudable result thereafter?” asked a staff, wondering why President Goodluck Jonathan had decided to derail the on-going note-worthy progress being recorded in NPA.
But for the stakeholders who gave the government a thumbs down, though their opinions might not demonstrate any personal love with the sacked NPA boss, they nontheless remained opposed to the gesture because of the impression the removal could create in the long run.
An importer in Lagos, Joseph Nwokoye, while frowning on the sack also pleaded against policies that could further worsen the fortunes of the industry.
“If this is true, then government has been terribly unfair to this man. Did they appoint him so as to ruin his career? He was a general manager capital project; and they appointed him purportedly because they had faith in his ability to effect the desired changes. So why did they have to do this to him?” asked the freight forwarder, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The maritime operator from the Eastern part of the country also cautioned that if government continues with its policy of destroying workers careers with shoddy appointments that would not last the distance, new appointees may also be encouraged to first feather their own nest, rather than focus on enduring policy pursuit, in fear of the un-expected eventuality.
“Honestly, while I do not know the way forward, I am, however, convinced that this cannot be the way desired forward. You don’t appoint a man, challenge him to perform a task, and while he throws himself head-long into it, you unceremoniously throw him over-board” he spoke further.
The Managing Director of the Apapa Bulk Terminal, Captain Emmanuel Omotayo, who initially declined comment, urged the authorities to ensure that only square pegs are put in square holes, even as he also admitted not knowing the way forward.
“I don’t know the way forward. When people like us talked in the past, we were tagged as trouble makers,” he posited, insisting on keeping his view to himself, though he pleaded with the Government to ensure that only square pegs were appointed and made to function in square holes.Share