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NPA: Ajayi leaves in Blaze of Glory

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Written by Maritime First
  • As Presidential committee tells Buhari: Magu can serve indefinitely

The General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Chief Michael Kayode Ajayi finally handed over the mantle of office on Thursday, after a meritorious service which took him to the mandatory 60 years.

Retiring in blaze of glory, his boss and Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman showered encomiums on him, even as his subordinates prayed for continued good health and a mega uplifting, in his subsequent areas of endeavor.

Totally detribalized, Ajayi cuts a distinct picture of altruism, dedication and visionary commitment to duty, displaying traits which endeared him to his Managing Director and Executive Directors alike, while endearing him to all that worked with him, as a leader to emulate.

Handing to the new General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Effiong, Ajayi prayed God to grant Effiong greater foresight and new initiatives not only to sustain the good image of the Authority, but to even raise the bar.

He also allayed his successor’s fears, stressing that both the Authority and the Managing Director are distinctly good products, which makes flying their kites, a most remarkably, wonderful experience.

The MARITIME FIRST recalls that Chief Ajayi was a fortnight ago celebrated by top management of the Authority at an event attended by the NPA’s Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, the Executive Director, Finance Mohammed Bello-Koko and other top officials of the authority.

It was learnt that both the management and staff had actually impressed it on him to accept a window to further serve, because of his pragmatic, effective, efficient, yet humble approach to task performance.

The General Manager, Monitoring and Enforcement (M&E), Western Ports, Capt. Ebubeogu Ihenacho, was unambiguous, when he said he was not happy to announce Ajayi’s retirement.

*We will miss Oga o!”, a younger staff disclosed, speaking on condition of anonymity, while describing Chief Ajayi as a man who used his position to promote career excellence among the staff and brought to the front burner issues relating to their welfare.

Confirming this, the Managing Director said she had a very good working relationship with Ajayi, noting his consistency and happy disposition to work.

“During the period we were together, we had a very robust working relationship and very robust interaction.

“What is important is that he has been able to discuss openly with me issues on what we need to do to move the authority forward.

“He makes his suggestions very clear and he has been very candid in conveying some of his messages and I appreciate him for that.

“Over the period, I have also learnt to listen to his advice as regards the challenges facing the public affairs because  the media turns positive and negative against us. He has been there to guide and assist. I appreciate the contributions he has brought to the public affairs.

“As Ajayi would be going,  I will always call on him to provide support. I will always call on him to provide guidance and I think he will always be part of us in the Public Affairs and in the authority,” the NPA chief said.

Looking at the 24 years he put in with the Authority, Ajayi said he had been lucky to consistently work with bosses who have integrity and support staff who do not throw trust into the bin.

“I have been lucky, and I cannot be too grateful to God”, he stated further, adding:

“I tried to focus on letting the staff do what they were paid to do. I put a lot of trust in them, and tutored them on selfless service to NPA and the nation.’’

In the meantime, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to remove the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, whose confirmation was rejected by the Senate on Wednesday.

The committee further stated that Magu could continue in acting capacity indefinitely.

It was learnt that the committee had resolved to communicate its resolution to the President in writing.

The Chairman of the PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), told The PUNCH that the resolution was unanimous and that members were of the view that removing Magu would negatively affect the war against corruption.

He said, “I had a telephone conference with all members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and we unanimously agreed that Magu is the best candidate in this country for that position and that he should continue acting indefinitely until he is confirmed and there should be no change whatsoever; otherwise, there will be a major setback in the fight against corruption.

“We observed that those who do not want him are those who are opposed to the fight against corruption. So, we are 100 per cent behind him.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency, on Thursday, said it would not respond to the rejection of the nomination of Magu until it received a formal communication from the Senate on the development.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this on his Twitter handle.

“The Presidency will respond to the non-clearance of Magu as EFCC boss after it receives official communication in writing from the Senate,” Adesina wrote.

The Senate had, on Wednesday, rejected Magu’s nomination for the second time.

Additional report from Punch

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Maritime First