The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, says the agency has earmarked N807 million for the rehabilitation of a portion of its building that was burnt during the #EndSARS protests in the country.
She made this known in Abuja during the agency’s 2021 budget defence before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport.
According to the NPA Boss, the N807 million was different from monies to be spent on replacement of 27 vehicles set ablaze by hoodlums and the three stolen during the violence.
“These vehicles, being operational ones, need to be replaced as soon as insurance companies come up with the aspect of losses to be shouldered.
“Aside burnt building and vehicles, other working tools like 317 computers were looted as well as photocopiers.
“Cost of replacement will be above a billion naira when added to the N807million already estimated for rehabilitation of the burnt building,” she said.
Bala-Usman assured the committee that the agency, based on ongoing arrangement with the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Inland Waterway Authority (NIWA) was evolving a permanent solution to the gridlock on roads leading to the ports in Lagos.
She said an electronic call up system had been put in place for trucks accessing the ports for evacuation of goods.
“Trucks Park has been established in Orile, Lagos, which is to serve as call up centre for any truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
“Besides this arrangement, ultra modern rail line leading to Apapa port and water transportation being offered by NIWA are also helping out,” she said.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, on his part, informed the committee that the N3.9 billion budget proposed for the agency in 2021 would primarily be used toward upscaling the development of inland water transportation in the country.
Out of the N3.9 billion, he said N1.3 billion was for recurrent expenditure, N1.4 billion for capital expenditure and N1.1 billion projected as remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
In his remarks after the budget defence session, the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Danjuma Goje, told the agencies to scale up their projected revenue drive in 2021 for easy implementation of the entire budget.
“Be rest assured that this committee shall through its oversight functions monitor your revenue drive in 2021 as well as remittance into the CRF,” he said.