Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Communication Transportation and Corporation (SSACTAC) has raised the alarm that billions of Dollars in revenue accruable to the Federal Government is being diverted to private pockets daily under the agency’s towage system. This is even as the workers pledged their support to the newly appointed Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Usman.
President of SSACTAC, Comrade Benson Adegbeyeni in a chat with Nigerian Tribune charged the new management of the NPA to review the towage services of the agency, pointing out that billions of government revenue is being diverted through this channel.
He lamented that towage services is a core function of the NPA, but that presently it has been outsourced to a private company in the Lagos area and in Rivers Port and Port Harcourt Port area, leaving the agency with only Warri and Calabar ports to manage.
According to him, “We have so many things wrong with the port system; one of them is the towage services of the NPA. Currently, the revenue of NPA is going into private pockets through the agency’s towage services that have been outsourced to a third party.
“Also, terminal operator’s activities are not properly monitored by NPA because the agency is under-staffed. The dilapidated infrastructures are not being replaced. Pilot quarters and thug boats were procured by NPA but they were given to a third party to run.
“We have been on the towage issue for the past years, but they went to outsource it to some people so that by the time they leave NPA, they would still be sucking the breast of the agency
“Globally, towage services charges are $3,620 dollars. Although the company NPA outsourced towage service to currently charge the standard rate as done all over the world, it remits only $920 Dollars to the agency and diverts the rest despite using the agency’s infrastructure and manpower,” he said.
“We asked them to increase the towage charges in Warri and Calabar area but they have refused. My MD has a lot to face, but I have promised her that I am going to stay by her, put her through and give our own advice. However, it is one thing to take the horse to the water but you cannot force her to drink.”
He vowed that the union will stand by the new NPA boss to ensure she succeeds on her job as the first female MD of NPA.