By Sandra Chukwunyere
The saying that what a man can do a woman can do it even more better is really playing out at the moment at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) where Hadiza Bala Usman is at the helms of affairs.
The woman is indeed proving the promoters of the above saying right as she is currently moving the authority beyond the imagination of the stakeholders, making new moves, breaking new grounds and taking the authority to its pride place. The Amazon has proven that she is really more than many men , a woman with a lion’s heart.
The Managing Director who was appointed as the NPA boss in July 18th,2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari has within two years of efficient work at NPA proved her critics who earlier thought that she was a novice who knows nothing and has nothing to offer the maritime industry.
No wonder Usman rightly told those that cared to know at her earlier days at NPA that “ everyone in NPA has a role to play in promoting best practices, in upholding governance standards and in delivering quality services”
The MD is a determined fellow, a woman excellent spirit who is eager to show that she has what it takes to move the industry forward. She further promised the stakeholders that her management team and her must work hard to show that things can really done in the right way.
“ We will work hard, with integrity and zero tolerance for corruption. We will listen to our customers, importers,exporters,and other agencies working in the port to improve on our service delivery to the nation,
Topmost among her aims and desires for the authority in particular and the industry in general earlier was to re position the authority to an enviable height. “ I want to re position the Nigerian Ports Authority as the preferred cargo destination”. Today, she can beat her chest and boldly say that she has actually re positioned the agency.
Bala is a political activist who was not known by many except for her humanitarian role during “Bring Back Our Girls campaign”. Her appointment as NPA’s Managing Director was seen as aberration and abnormal (bring a woman to head NPA)
And for that reason many did not really believe in her and what she can offer to the industry. She was not given chance. However, she is preserved and determined to make a difference in the sector.
Usman has actually done her job very well and with extra dexterity and has proven that being a woman is even an advantage, giving the job a feminine touches efficiency and professionalism it needed. The Ports Access roads under her regime has really been improved upon and rehabilitated.
For the much – talked about Apapa/Oshodi expressway gridlock, which has been a total nightmare for port operators, Hadiza Usman as a woman with her mother concern had summoned series of stakeholders meeting just to see the end of the gridlock.
At such stakeholders meetings, she has also came up with good ideas of how to solve the perennial and choking Apapa traffic.
Under that too, the authority directed that popular Lilypond Terminal to be converted to a truck park recently just to ameliorate the suffering of the port users, truck drivers who spend weeks and months at a spot just to access the Apapa seaport.
At the moment, NPA under Usman is seriously working on the port Development Master Plan. And through this, the authority is developing the Badagry Deep Sea Port, Lekki deep sea ports and other developmental strides by the Amazon.
Surely, NPA under Hadiza Bala Usman is really working and is taking Nigeria to the hub of maritime destination of the sub-region.