In July 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Hadiza Bala Usman as the first female Managing Director (MD) of Nigeria’s port authority (NPA). Before this, she was Chief of Staff to Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, being the first woman to be so appointed since the office was created in 1999.
Bala’s appointment to head one of the most important agencies in the country came at a time Nigeria was facing massive decline in revenue from crude oil and the immediate need to spread the revenue supplies of the federal government.
President Buhari acknowledged the need to make the NPA one of the proficient economic drivers of his administration and entrusted this staggering task to Usman.
Having hit the ground running by implementing a number of public sector reforms that are fundamental in transforming the NPA and minimising corruption in the system, Usman is now on the pathway of proving incorrect, all the reservations that followed her appointment.
In less than seven months since she resumed as the Managing Director of the NPA, an agreement was signed with the budget tracking and transparency organisation.
This made the NPA the first revenue-generating agency to open its books and accounts up to the civil society and the public for scrutiny.
By making this move, she ensured that funds were not transferred to private accounts for the selfish interest of corrupt elements but were instead remitted into the Federation Account.
She described this particular agreement as an exit from the obscure practices of the previous administrations towards open governance.
Nana – Aisha Salaudeen