…says it was over bloated
Contrary to reports in some sections of the media on his absence during the visit by the members of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to his office in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdullahi has said that his absence during the visit of the committee members were not to worry about.
Mallam Abdullahi who was speaking to Journalists in Lagos Thursday, described his absence during the visit as “just a simple issue that was unnecessarily overblown by the press”.
According to him, the Senate Committee members were billed to visit the Authority’s headquarters in Lagos a day earlier but eventually failed to show up while he waited for them at the headquarters until late in the evening when it was obvious that they were no longer going to make it on the said day.
He disclosed that on the rescheduled date, which happened to be the following day, he was away on another pressing official assignment which made his absence inevitable leaving his two Executive Directors to receive them and take them round.
He said,” yes they came in, I wasn’t around. Actually, I was around , they were supposed to come around on Thursday and I waited until around 6.30 pm “.
“On Friday, my deputies received them and welcomed them. I left the Executive Director Finance and Administration as well as the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services to do that and take them around. It was just a simple issue that was unnecessarily overblown by the press”, Abdullahi said.
On the 2014 budget proposal for the Authority, he added,” we have not gone to the Senate for the budget. We have taken the budget to the governing board of the authority, the board has approved it. We have taken it to the Ministry, the Ministry has also approved it. We will be going to the Senate to defend the budget estimate. They have not called us, When the Senate calls us and tells us to come, we will let you know.
You may recall that Primetime Reporters last Monday reported that the Senate Committee on Marine Transport visited the NPA Headquarters in Lagos to appraise the budget performance of the Authority in the last budge year but met the absence of the Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi.
Angered by his absence,the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Zainab Kure threatened that the Senate may deny the authority fund in this years budget over his deliberate absence from the meeting having been fully put on notice that they were visiting.